What would happen if your town lost its bank, doctor’s surgery, and petrol station within the space of a few months? That is the prospect facing the residents of a West Australian mining town which boomed during the 1960s and 70s but is now facing a fight for survival.
Kambalda was built on the discovery of nickel in 1966 and Australia’s first nickel sulphide mine, known as the Silver Lake shaft. Fly-in, fly-out was not allowed in the early days, but it has slowly crept into the community in recent years with the construction of a workers’ camp.
The decade since the global financial crisis struck has not been kind to Kambalda, with its population falling from 2,689 to 2,539 between the 2006 and 2016 Census polls.
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