By WILLIAM FOREMANSeptember 2, 2007
KARRATHA, Australia (AP) – For nearly three decades, Chinese peasants have left their villages for crowded dormitories and sweaty assembly lines, churning out goods for world markets. Now,is turning the tables.
Here in the Australian Outback, Shane Padley toils in the scorching heat, 2,000 miles from his home, to build an extension to a liquefied natural gas plant that feeds China’s ravenous hunger for energy.
At night, the 34-year-old carpenter sleeps in a tin dwelling known as a “donga,” the size of a shipping container and divided into four rooms, each barely big enough for a bed. There are few other places for Padley to live in this boomtown.
Duct-taped to the wall is a snapshot of the blonde girlfriend he left behind and worries he may lose. But, he says, “I can make nearly double what I’d be making back home in thearea.”
The reason: China.