Sex, drugs, rock'n'roll all get a boost from Aussie mining boom
The sex industry, trade in illicit drugs and touring rock scene have all received a major boost from the Australian resources boom, with young, cash-flush miners readily dispensing their earnings on foreign prostitutes, recreational narcotics and live music.
The mineral-rich antipodean state is one of few first-world nations to have successfully weathered the global economy's recent travails, managing to maintain a 3.1% growth rate as most of the OECD languishes.
Reaping immense benefit from China's continued growth and insatiable appetite for raw materials, Australia's average full-time income has risen to a high of $72,500 per year, while its currency has remained above parity against the US dollar for the past two years.
France 24 reports that these propitious economic conditions have now made the country a key market for itinerant sex workers, drug smugglers and touring rock groups.
Last year Australian notched up their highest number of illicit drug busts in a decade, with 69,500 in total for the year ended June 30, 2012.
Foreign sex workers are also flocking in increasing numbers to remote mining communities, where workers earn exorbitant wages and the local sex-ratio is heavily skewed in favor of men.
A report released by the University of New South Wales in 2012 found that the number of sex workers coming to Australia from abroad had risen considerably since 2006, with 53% of such sex workers hailing from nearby countries in the Asia-Pacific such as Thailand, Korea and China.
The study also found that sex workers charged twice as much for their services in isolated mining communities than they did in major cities such as Sydney, where the median hourly rate is AUD$150.
Australia's thriving, resources-backed economy has also made it a key destination for international rock acts, especially given the strong Aussie dollar and shifts in the music industry which have made live performances a primary revenue source.
The country is set to welcome a throng of leading international acts during the first six months of 2013, including Bruce Springsteen, Guns N'Roses, Ringo Starr, ZZ Top, Status Quo, Neil Young, Robert Plant and Kiss.
International rock acts are not beneath adjusting their ticket prices to reflect the rude health of the Australian economy. A premium ticket to see Bruce Springsteen perform costs $90 in Connecticut, yet more than twice that amount in Australia at $220 per head.