More than a Singletonne
There has been massive social change in the past 200 years from Aboriginal beginnings, colonial white settlement and now the huge influx of workers to sustain the mining industry. We have seen the loss of culture and history over that period, the non-acknowledgement of the Aboriginal people, the destruction of Aboriginal sites and white history to make way for “progress”. There has been removal of schools and churches without first properly recording their history and keeping a visual record. There has been a loss in town pride in the little details such as removal of street trees. There has been a loss of large parts of the Aboriginal history and culture in the area. Many of the workers in the local mines commute from as far away as Maitland and Newcastle so the social framework of the town is somewhat fractured with it being seen by many as a means to a financial end. Families are also suffering from the results of long hours and commuting times.
Another concerning factor of the change from farming to large -scale open cut mining is the fertile top layers of the soil are being irrevocably changed forever. Mining creates an instant financial reward for a select few and government, at what cost for future generation? As the population of Australia steadily increases, we will be looking evermore to overseas sources for our food supply. If sustained drought hits some areas combined with the global financial crisis the situation could tip this country over the edge into famine due to reduced local food supply.