Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mining towns

I finally finished setting up a Mac computer with a wireless connection to the WWW for an elderly Aboriginal lady. I took her deceased husband's slow PC in an attempt to download any documents and personal data which she may be interested in. He had tied things up fairly well with hidden password protection and it seems that he hasn't left those password details in the usual little black book in a desk drawer. Not a big problem, as he passed away over three years ago and there is no current stuff on the machine.

A good friend visited yesterday. He is on annual leave from his position as Deputy Principal at a Senior High School in a large mining town in the north of Western Australia. He is one of three deputies at the school and his role is as Deputy of Discipline. He told some harrowing tales of fights and out of control kids and parents. During his holiday period he had to fly back north twice to be a witness at court cases involving students and parents.

This mining town is awash with money from high wages. The students whose parents work on the minesite have pocket money to burn and don't bother to collect change at the school canteen. Rent is astronomical....$3,000 per week for a 3 BR house! My mate lives in a house bringing in $2,500 per week for its owner. Fortunately the Education Dept. subsidises his rent and he pays only $250. per week. Houses that would sell for $350-400,000 in the city sell for $1.5M.

My friend has met a young Indian man who works on the minesite. Before he arrived in Australia he was working for the equivalent of $0.90 a day. He now has a mining job earning $90.00 per hour. He owns two houses pulling in lots of cash.

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