Four Corners - Money Pit, The
They can't rip it out fast enough. Day and night, men and machines pull iron ore from the world's biggest open cuts, crushing it then piling it onto the world's longest trains, before loading it onto Asia's biggest ships to feed the world's hungriest economies.
Welcome to the Pilbara, money pit, engine room of Australia's prosperity and magnet to thousands of footloose men and women chasing serious pay for hard work.
But the town at the epicentre of the boom, Port Hedland, fears it's being lost in the rush. While the ore goes north to Asia, the profits head south and east as everyone takes the money and runs. Milked by miners, treasuries and a transient, unsentimental workforce, Hedland has been trampled in a stampede that no one seems to have planned for.
Schools and health services are stretched and community facilities are scarce. Matt Carney finds short term digs in the old detention centre for asylum-seekers. From there he follows newcomers as they hit town hungry for work and money, and meets old-timers who wonder how a fortune founded on solid rock can be so illusory.
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