Port Hedland was a backwards town.

I found my bus stop of four years on Google Street View today, and the coincidences never fail to amaze me. Band Camp from Port Hedland to Perth started on the 18th of August 2004. It's been four years and tonight 4 Corners screened The Money Pit - "the hidden, human costs of the minerals boom." My dad worked for Boodarie Iron when it closed in '04 and it spoke of pressing issues that don't come to mind when you think "Port Hedland". I've always said something was up with the education system, bored kids, employment and way of life - but it's not something most people can relate to.

Maybe the odd person will recognise it as the place with all the cyclones (where the inhabitants actually, generally, don't care that much - even when the local high school's roof tore off my friends told me how they 'slept through it'), but most won't know much more than "it's a mining town." No one I know goes there for holidays.

That bus stop was painted and flipped around as an attempt to shield bus riders from the sun -- especially during the summer when temperatures soared (it got to 51 degrees once) -- and hide the graffiti. Over a period of just three weeks the writing returned with common slogans and your typical 'david waz 'ere 03' in the coloured circles. It looked neater and confined, but look closer at the rusty frame and you can't escape it.

Kids used to hide behind it and that would be there excuse for wagging.

"I missed the bus."

I think they did.

Images © Google Street View.
Four Corners - The Money Pit (ABC Website and 4 Corners Website)