Most people in NSW recognise the benefits of the mining industry, according to the latest research project commissioned by the NSW Minerals Council.
The survey, conducted by Crosby Textor, showed that over the last three years mining has had a consistent support level of 70 percent among the public in NSW.
1000 people in NSW were asked the question: From what you have read, seen or heard about mining in New South Wales, even if it is just a slight leaning or guess, would you say that you support or oppose the mining industry in New South Wales?
NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said the research conducted by respected research company Crosby Textor, showed that most people understand the need for a strong mining sector, for jobs, economic growth, exports, and royalties.
“Of those surveyed, 87 percent believed a strong mining industry was important to regional NSW and 88 percent believed mining was important to the state as a whole,” he said.
“Over half those surveyed also said they believed that a strong mining sector in NSW was important to Sydney.
Total opposition to mining recorded by the poll was 17 per cent in May 2012, 26 per cent in May 2013, and 24 per cent in May 2014.
The research also showed a strong disparity between attitudes about the importance of mining in rural areas or in Sydney.
Around 87 per cent of people recognised that mining was important to regional and rural NSW, while 56 per cent said mining was important to Sydney.
Galilee said that economic conditions have toughened in the mining industry, partly due to global factors like low commodity prices and a high Australian dollar, as well as uncertainty around NSW planning laws.
“Despite these tough times, mining does have a strong future in NSW,” he said.
“We have a world class mining workforce, some of the best minerals deposits in the world and good access to infrastructure.
“We also have longstanding trading relationships with established economies like Japan, Taiwan and Korea, as well as with the growing economic powerhouses of India and China,” he said.
Galilee reinforced the point that a high level of support for mining in NSW should send a clear message to policy decision makers in government.
“The public understands that we need a strong mining sector in NSW to create jobs and keep our state economy growing and the industry should be supported,” Galilee said.