Mining settlements in Australia

Alaric Maude and Graeme Hugo

This review has indicated the great variety in the economic and employment structures of LGAs involved in mining in Australia. Mining LGAs vary enormously in the percentage of their labour force employed in mining; in the extent of employment in agriculture, manufacturing, and other industry sectors; and in the extent of public sector employment. Some LGAs contain small, specialised, and isolated mining settlements, while others are significant regional service centres, or large urban areas with relatively diversified labour markets. Not all mining towns are remote (and not all remote settlements are mining settlements) (Holmes 1988), although most of the mining towns created since the 1960s are in isolated areas. This economic diversity of mining communities is matched by wide variations in their social and demographic characteristics. Given this variety in economic structure, location, and the size and diversity of the regional labour market, the effects of downturns in mining employment, or of the closure of mines, will vary from LGA to LGA. This variation must be the starting-point for the evolution fo state, union, and mining company policies for handling mine closure and downsizing.

Maude, A. & Hugo, G. (1992). Mining settlements in Australia. In C. Neil, M. Tykkyläinen & J. Bradbury (Eds.), Coping with closure: An international comparison of mine town experiences (pp. -94). London; New York: Routledge.

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Book chapter
Closure, Other
Mining settlements in Australia