DIRTY BUSINESS: How Mining Made Australia is a saga of heroes and villains, greed and glory, power and politics, death and destruction, boom and bust. In 150 years nothing has influenced Government, the economy, and the lives of the majority of Australians like mining. From the gold rush to the boom, it has turned the wheels of the Australian economy. It has generated trillions of dollars, provided employment across generations and enabled the nation to dodge the worst impacts of depression and global financial crises. In the midst of continued global economic uncertainty, mining giants are making billions, but mining in Australia is much more influential than even the mind-numbing figures suggest. Mining affects us all, it is as influential as it is risky. The ultimate high wire act, it teeters between unimaginable riches and catastrophic collapse. Mining is what makes us rich even as it threatens to destroy the dream it has built. This series reveals how this knife -edge drama has played out repeatedly through AustraliaGÇÖs history. Dirty Business: How Mining Made Australia does this in three themed episodes covering Money, Power and Land. We reveal how mining initially made the distant British colony rich, and how the struggle for who gets to share in the wealth has raged across a century and half ever since. The promise of wealth beyond belief brought a tsunami of humanity to these shores. It built the first multi-ethnic Australia and the cities in which we live. But the fear that the sudden mineral booms would turn to dust just as suddenly, stalked colonial Australia and drove fierce competition which pitted miner against government, miner against miner, and race against race. Mining has always been about politics. Today we think the relationship between business and Government is fractious, drama filled and utterly critical to the nation. In fact it has always been this way. From Eureka in the 1850s to Federation in 1901, mining built the nation and formed the foundation of the nationGÇÖs modern democracy. Yet as mining developed Australia so AustraliaGÇÖs miners, often with the GovernmentGÇÖs blessing, became more and more powerful. Australian mining become a global, internationally owned, , all-powerful, unelected industry that wields enormous power and influence. A business that AustraliaGÇÖs Prime Ministers from Billy Hughes to Julia Gillard ignore at their peril. For one hundred and fifty years, mining and European penetration of the vast continent have gone hand in hand - one only possible because of the other. On one level it is a romantic tale of frontier discovery, of world beating technological achievement and peopleGÇÖs great pioneering spirit. On another it is very different and chilling, It's the story of how mining has been central to the dispossession of aboriginal peoples; their cultures and the destruction of their land. In the modern era, mining has been central to the politics of land rights especially in the north and centre of the continent , and some indigenous leaders are now saying that in those regions, ironically, it represents the best hope for future aboriginal self-determination and economic independence. From the fate of the First Australians, and the land itself, to politics and society, the series will tell the story of how deeply mining has shaped the face of the nation. It will continue to do so, because our fate is so intimately entwined with the precious treasure trove contained in the ancient rocks of this ancient continent.
Dirty Business - How Mining Made Australia