Saturday, May 19, 2012


Made it yesterday.  The place is still booming, and there's tension here over the fact that the WA economy is growing so fast that payments from the federal government are being reduced every year, to the point that many people here feel they're being punished for the state's success.  In this morning's paper, the Premier denied that the state was considering formally separating from the rest of Australia.  That the question came up at all is interesting.

The cost of living is astonishingly high.  Skilled trades (electrician, plumbing, mining) are earning close to $200,000 in the mining areas, and households earning $150,000 a year are sometimes eligible for government subsidies.  People struggle at $50,000-$75,000 a year.  A cab driver told me that salaries in mining are so high that even professionals -- and we're talking lawyers, accountants, even medical providers -- are taking mining jobs.

Hmm. . .


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