chapter  Six
14 Pages

Modernity or ‘Slaves of the Lamp’? Independence and Control in Two State Coal Mining Communities in Victoria, Australia

ByMeredith Fletcher

This chapter aims to contribute to a broader understanding of the way identities are forged in coal mining communities and to consider issues of control and independence in state enterprises. It suggests that Wonthaggi had an impact upon the development of the much more extensive state enterprise at Yallourn, established a little over 10 years later. Moreover, it draws conclusion about the influence that modernity had upon the state's attitude towards and representations of its coal mining communities as it sought to create a modern, efficient and harmonious industrial enterprise. The chapter is concerned with issues such as town planning and landscaping, houses and ownership, local government, cooperatives and liaisons and how they contribute to systems of control or forging an ethos of independence. The two identities that developed at Yallourn and Wonthaggi, one fostered by the employers and one fostered by the residents, affected the independence, self-determination, lifestyles and industrial power of the mining communities.