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The Wild, Wild West

By Georgie Jeffreys on November 2, 2011 in News

Photo: Adam Hayes

Sydney is the city of opportunity. You can do anything, be anyone and have all you want and more; the world is your oyster. Or so they say. Unfortunately, such oft-spouted aphorisms fail to take into account Sydney’s status as one of the world’s most expensive cities. We all know the deal – high rent, expensive fuel, constant bills and that nagging feeling of never quite keeping up – and with the economic climate as it is, this isn’t set to change any time soon. So it’s little wonder that the entrepreneurs among us have looked to the horizons for a dollar signed solution, with some hungry eyes set on the Wild Wild West – Western Australia that is.

Whilst not technically ‘entrepreneurs’ in the true sense of the word, some clever lads from Bronte have snapped up the chance to earn some serious dollars and hightailed it to the west coast. Having packed up shop in search of some decent money, the boys have realised that whilst Sydney will always be here, the money just isn’t.

Josh Taylor, 28, migrated west to the town of Port Hedland almost six months ago. Having lived and worked in Sydney and the Eastern Suburbs for a number of years, he recently decided that enough was enough.

“I was in Bronte for five years and I love the lifestyle and the surf more than anywhere else in the world, but I guess that’s why I had to leave,” he said.

“Eventually I want to settle down in the east, but to be able to do that I need to earn some decent cash and unfortunately that’s not really an option in Sydney, at least not like it is over here in WA.”

And Josh is not the only local who has made the transition west.

“There are probably about ten of us Bronte boys here in Port Hedland, that I know of,” he said. “Most of the boys work for a few months, save up a heap of cash and then cruise to Bali for a holiday.”

Currently in the midst of a mining boom, Western Australia is responsible for the majority of Australia’s resources sector, which accounts for one quarter of the national gross product. Yet, despite this huge contribution, the entire state of WA has a population of only 2.5 to 3 million people. By comparison, Sydney – the city of bright lights and congested traffic – alone has more than 4.5 million residents. Such a disparity in numbers relative to industry and infrastructure has left our west coast neighbors with some serious skills shortages. In fact, recent estimates suggest that at least 150,000 skilled jobs need to be filled to support the fruition of some $380 billion worth of mining projects.

So if you’re tired of tight purse strings, long hours and fierce competition, do the nation a favour and lend a hand out west. At the very least you’ll be close to the Indian Ocean, a cheap flight away from some holiday hot spots and have front row seats to beautiful sunsets over beach horizons. And you may even earn a mint while you’re over there.