Mount Isa, Queensland.
View of Mineside, Mount Isa Mines, executives staff houses in the foreground are temporary quarters for men, with large, two-storied men's dormitory behind them. Part of the mess hall and butcher's shop are to the left of the photograph behind temporary quarters. The building to the right, but behind the dormitory is the single male, staff quarters which includes the maid quarters. This photograph does not include the Community Store that was completed later in 1930.
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Here is an extract from a newspaper, it gives details of the long buildings, "Ranch", in the foreground. Daily Mercury, Mackay, 10th December 1929. "Men arriving at Mount Isa looking for work have to register at the company's labor bureau, and attend there every morning, and when men are required the labor agent picks the men according to the class of labor required, such as carpenters, fitters, concrete men, etc. They do not object to men getting a job without going to the bureau, but they will have to go through the bureau before they can start work. After the men are picked they are given a note to the Doctor, and they have to be examined to see if they are medically fit to work for it does not matter what kind of work they have to do. After getting their certificate the Company distributes them where they are required. They are also given a brass ticket, with a number on it, and they have to show this ticket when they want a ranch ticket or their fortnightly pay. The company has provided temporary sleeping quarters. They are long and narrow buildings, built of corrugated iron and divided into small rooms. Two men share a room and all the rooms are numbered. No charge is made for these rooms. Permanent quarters are being built on a very large scale. The buildings will have forty bedrooms, each nicely furnished and containing a duchess, a wire stretcher, and wash stand. The buildings are enclosed all round with wire gauze netting to make them fly proof. I believe the Company intends to charge five shillings a week rent for these rooms."
Though the major periods of social infrastructure provision saw quite different company initiatives, the aim of management was the same: to markedly reduce the overall labour turnover of the workforce. The management of Mount Isa Mines used social infrastructure to attract and keep its most valued employees, mostly married employees, especially during periods of massive expansion in preparation for increased production. While the success of the company town of Isa Mines was limited in this respect, it did manage to retain a core minority of employees, with home ownership, government housing and support for local businesses, parts of a more strategic approach to consolidating the local labor market by transforming an outback bush town to the suburban norm of Australian coastal cities. This intended to stabilize the workforce for a mine that would last many decades. Mining company social practices at the time: These included rental housing and barracks, home ownership schemes and government-provided housing, both rental and for purchase. The operation and closure of the company stores, bank, and recreational facilities are also part of this, as is the operation of recreational areas to be utilised by all residents. The entire community of Mount Isa was a company town, built and controlled by one company. However the concept proved too difficult to sustain over the entire period to 1963 especially with the existence of the town of Mount Isa (Townside), whose residents and businessmen remained resolutely independent of the company. Sometimes “social infrastructure” such as accommodation, recreational facilities, and other employee programs are provided. Social infrastructure can take several forms such as barracks for single men, an entire township on company leases, or housing and facilities in an existing town. In some cases, social infrastructure has been provided by governments through the use of public money for this purpose has been generally controversial. Some industrial infrastructure provided by companies can also be used for social purposes, especially power stations, and dams. Source: researchonline.jcu.edu.au/39437/1/39437-kirkman-2011-thes...