Our country was established as a penal colony for convicts... so... if you didn't work they'd shoot or hang you! (no sense sending you to prison - the entire continent IS your prison!
) The other incentive was, since the land was undeveloped bush lands, if convicts wanted any Western luxuries like roads, buildings etc., they had to build it! The natives? Whee, free source of slave labour! (no need to import from places like Africa - although some were imported from neighbouring islands-countries like the Torres Straits Islands, Tonga etc. The Gold Rushes of the 1800s attracted cheap Chinese labour to our shores. Today we no longer import cheap Chinese labour to do our dirty work -- today we exploit cheap Chinese labour in their own country!
Oh look, there's a Deluxe Class Transformer which cost Hasbro $2 to manufacture in China, but I'm paying $23 for it!