Busted by the boom
Marcia Langton; 24/4/10
Those living but not working in mining regions are suffering economic disaster Karratha and Roebourne are neighbouring settlements, one a port and mining dormitory town on the coast of the southern Pilbara region of Western Australia, the other an old town, a half hour inland, where most people are Aboriginal. Karratha has new brick houses, tree-lined streets, substantial amenities, a motel, shopping centre, restaurants and tennis courts. Roebourne is old, dusty, and showing signs of years of neglect: broken fences, potholes, weeds and flaking paint. Here and there a well-kept house and garden appear incongruously among the other homes. A TAFE college, a few offices and a basketball court signal that someone decided to spend some state money in Roebourne, rather than concentrating all new investment in Karratha.