The coal mining debate in Australia is a heavy load for all political parties.
The coal mining debate in Australia is a heavy load for all political parties.

Shock group of voters who support Adani

ACTIVISTS have tarnished Adani's name to the extent that while half of Australians back coal mining, this support plummets to just 31 per cent when the company's name is mentioned, shock new polling reveals.

Despite this, support for coal mining and Adani can be found through all major political parties, including Greens voters.

More than 60 per cent of Coalition voters and about 40 per cent of Labor voters backed coal mining in Australia, according to News Queensland's exclusive YouGov Galaxy poll.

Surprisingly, one in five people voting Green said they supported coal mining in Australia, while that amount barely fell when Adani is mentioned.

But the name Adani is poison among the major parties, with support for mining dropping for the development of the Adani mine to just 40 per cent of Coalition voters and 24 per cent of Labor.

Half of Australians surveyed in a YouGov Galaxy poll say they support coal mining in Australia. Picture: AAP image/John Gass
Half of Australians surveyed in a YouGov Galaxy poll say they support coal mining in Australia. Picture: AAP image/John Gass

While Labor is often criticised for saying "one thing about Adani in north Queensland and another in Melbourne", polling has shown there is virtually no difference between the two state's opinions on the coal mining project.

It showed 51 per cent of Queenslanders and 50 per cent of Victorians support coal mining in Australia, while 37 per cent of Queenslanders backed the development of Adani, compared to 32 per cent in the southern state.

South Australians were the most against it, with just 26 per cent backing the mine and 44 per cent opposed, while NSW was in the middle.

It is about 2220km, or a 29-hour drive, from the Galilee Basin where the mine is proposed to Adelaide, and 2060km to Melbourne.

The further away from the mine a respondent was the more likely they were to oppose it.

In recent weeks Adani's Australian mining boss Lucas Dow called out deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek for dog whistling when she said "an Indian mining company" could not be relied on for jobs, while the Stop Adani movement has been ramping up its protests across the country.

The company has also had its own court troubles after it was fined $12,000 for a coal dust spill at its Abbott Point port, and there was controversy over the Environment Minister approving its groundwater management plans days after threats from her Queensland colleagues.

Both federal leaders have distanced themselves from the multinational mining company, with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten saying he supports mining jobs but is "a sceptic of Adani", while Prime Minister Scott Morrison has avoided mentioning the company's name.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten says he supports mining but is a sceptic of Adani.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten says he supports mining but is a sceptic of Adani.

Baby Boomers, at 52 per cent, are the biggest supporters of coal, which is Australia's second biggest export.

Metallurgical coal exports are expected to hit $43 billion this year, while thermal coal will reach a record $27 billion this year. Thermal coal export earnings are expected to fall to $20 billion by 2023-24.

Millennials and Gen X-ers remain more circumspect on coal, with only about 40 per cent of each happy to see it mined in Australia.

But there are drops across the generational board when Adani's name is involved, particular for Gen X. Just 27 per cent of Gen X-ers support Adani, compared to 31 per cent of Millennials and Boomers.

Meanwhile, Queensland Department of Environment and Science officers with CSIRO and Geoscience Australia representatives are to discuss their review of Adani's groundwater management plan.

"Given the complex and technical nature of these matters, DES will take the time necessary to thoroughly and comprehensively assess the information," a DES spokesman said.



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