Melbournes Sin City

Essay by SOliviaSJunior High, 9th grade August 2009

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What impact has the sin had on Melbourne’s residents and development?The brothels that were built around the 1850’s were quite spectacular buildings, some of which still remain today. Because these were built right after the gold rush they were higher than buildings had been previously, these new buildings were about 8-9 storeys high compared to the old buildings being 3-4 storeys high. Sin city was around the same time as boom time when money was coming into Melbourne and people were finding new ways to get money off the people that worked to earn their money.

How did the corruption start?After the gold rush there was a lot of money around brought down to Melbourne from Bendigo and Ballarat. Poorer people thought they could gain a lot from setting up brothels, so that people who had found a lot of gold in the gold rush would come and spend it.

Most of the brothels were around Lonsdale Street and King Street.

Who was involved with Melbourne corruption?Melbourne’s’ corruption began after the discovery of Gold. When Melbourne became the 2nd richest society in the world. This caused destruction in buildings and enclosed suburbs. The fight for gold had begun! Towns, and nearby suburbs to Melbourne had turned into Havoc, and devastation. Melbourne had divided into two different places, one containing the rich and wealthy citizens and the other the poor and disgraced community. This therefore caused the wealth seeking citizens to begin brothels which further enhanced Melbourne’s’ corruption. The wealthy began to attend the brothels and gambling houses. This gradually caused their pockets were drained, this then lead to the depression.

Where did it start?Melbourne’s’ corruption began in central Melbourne, (near Lonsdale Street and the city centre). The city centre contained many brothels, bars and gambling venues. This is were most wealthily and self-centered people attended. They would waste their money gambling and attending unnecessary venues. The creation of gangs and groups had begun in Melbourne during this time. Stealing became a popular crime demonstrated in Melbourne in the 1850s.

When and if, did the corruption stop?The corruption never really stopped. If you look at all of Melbourne's history, there is always some type of corruption or crime going on. It started in 1880's-1890's there was a huge crime wave that ended in the downfall of many banks and businesses. William Judkins ended this with an attack on corruption, gambling and drinking. Melbourne slowly but surely recovered.

Then crime came back in the 1930's and slowly died away again thanks to the police. We thought this was controlled until about 1998 when the Gangland wars started with the shooting of Alphonse Gangitano, and continued until 2006, with the killing of Mario Condello. So these crimes never really stopped.

What caused the corruption?The corruption started with the Gold rush. The newfound gold bought greedy people to Melbourne to seek their fortunes. Their greed only grew when they saw others finding gold and not themselves. So they found another way to earn their fortune, corruption and illegal work. This is how the corruption started.

When did it start?It didn’t necessarily start at one specific time and then stop. Instead, Melbourne went through two separate depressions. One in the late 19th century, and the other in early-middle 20th century, which was several decades after the gold rush. In each of these periods, Little Lonsdale Street and the surrounding areas were called ‘the heart of slumdom’. It was mainly around these two periods of time that the pubs, brothels and all the other ‘bad’ businesses where widely recognised and used.

Why did it start?Many people at the time where living in Melbourne as a result of the gold rush, and where also quite rich. It seems that to open businesses including gambling houses, brothels and opium dens would be a big money maker. People had plenty of money to spend, and it seemed that these businesses attracted many customers, thus making the businesses a big money maker. Soon enough, word had spread about the types of things going on in the area and it soon became a place where many lost their money. By the looks of things, the depressions and businesses appearing at the same time was no coincidence. It seems that what was going on made many poor and some homeless; despite the riches made at the gold rush. Therefore resulting in a depressionWould Melbourne be what it is today without all the crime and corruption that happened in the past?No it wouldn’t, because if there wasn’t great crime, then there wouldn’t be a great police force to harness the power of the criminals. A law system was created to match the police force and was based on some of the bad crimes that were committed and do never want to be committed again. These laws have shaped our justice system, that we use today.

What type of corruption was there?There were many types of corruption but the main ones were:Bribery- this one was most common because people had so much money that they could pay to change someone’s decision to suit them.

Extortion- they would threaten or inflict harm to a person to gain money or anything really. They used blackmail a lot. Also Nep-o-tism, Pa-tro-nage, fraud, theft, grafting and embezzlement were all commonly used.

Corruption definitely helped criminal activity such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and trafficking, it wasn’t just restricted to these organised crime activities. At that stage corruption was so common that it was normal. They also had gangs, brothels, wheeling and dealing and profiteering.

What is corruption?Corruption is basically dishonesty and illegal behaviour. But everyone has their own opinion on what it corrupt. Whether you think that giving money to speed up the process of an application is corrupt or bribing a doctor to get medicine or even using government construction equipment to build an addition on your house is corrupt? The examples I just gave are all public corruption, which means they all give private gain. Other then private corruption which occurs between individuals in the private section, such as the Mafia forcefully taking money from a local business.