Mining camps create “hot boxes” of crime and abuse

A prominent Queensland researcher says mining camps create “hot boxes” of crime and drug abuse, and can be compared to concentration camps.

According to The Satellite Queensland University of Technology School of Justice head Kerry Carrington won this year’s top honour at the Society of Criminology last week.

Carrington received the award following release of her three year study, The Resource Boom’s Underbelly, in which she claimed fly-in fly-out mining camps in WA and QLD were forcing workers toward crime and drugs.

"When you're in a camp and you're not part of the community, you create hot boxes of crime — breeding groups for alcohol-related abuse,” she said.

"You create markets for illicit drugs, especially designer drugs because they bypass testing.”

"This is not the fault of individuals, it's the conditions they are put in.

Carrington said while not all camps matched this description, there were some in QLD and WA that could be compared to concentration camps.

According to a study by research firm URS, two thirds of resident and non-resident mining and gas workers in QLD are happy with their accomodation arrangements.

The study, completed earlier this year on behlaf of the Queensland Resources Council, showed little difference between the satisfaction of transient or residential workers.

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