Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies

The economic impact of the mining boom on Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians

By Boyd Hunter, Monica Howlett, Matthew Gray

Many mining operations are on or near Indigenous land, and the strong level of investment during the recent mining boom may have disproportionately affected Indigenous communities. This article examines changes in local Indigenous employment, income and housing costs to identify any localised ‘resource curse’ for Indigenous communities and the Australian population at large. Census data are used to show the mining boom has improved employment and income outcomes, but increased average housing costs. While the average increase in income has generally offset the increase in costs, housing stress for low-income households has increased as a result of the mining boom.

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