Clash of the surveys

A BATTLE of the polls has emerged, with the Queensland Resources Council releasing its own set of figures showing strong community support for gas and coal projects to oppose numbers released by the Greens that claimed the opposite, at least for coal.

Anthony Barich

QRC’s research, carried out by independent polling firm JWS Research, found that Queensland’s gas/LNG export sector attracted a favourable or neutral rating from 62% of respondents, with just 17% recording an unfavourable rating.

Support for the state’s metals mining sector was also strong, attracting opposition of just 19%.

Overall support for the resources sector in south east Queensland’s marginal seats stood at 72% and opposition at just 18%, while in the state’s major provincial cities, support stood at 78% and opposition at just 14%.

QRC’s research also found that 72% of Queenslanders had a favourable or neutral view of coal mining and less than a quarter (23%) of Queenslanders had an unfavourable view.

In fact, 42% of the state’s population had a favourable view of coal used to produce steel, with 28% neutral and only 13% unfavourable. A similar number, 36%, favoured coal used to make electricity with 33% neutral and 22% unfavourable.

QRC chief executive Michael Roche conceded that the varied research findings were likely the result of the intended purposes of each report.

“The key difference is that our research is undertaken annually to gather impartial insights into a wide range of matters that may impact upon the resources sector,” Roche said.

“On the other hand, the numbers reported by the Greens today were produced by a group that has strong ties both to the party and to green activist groups such as Coast and Country.

“Unfortunately, it has become commonplace for green activists to mislead the public in order to achieve their underlying political or fundraising goals.”

QRC’s research was undertaken via a 15-minute telephone survey conducted over October 8-12.

It used a representative sample of 1001 Queensland residents aged 18 years or more, including survey quotas on age, gender and location, and post-weighting to population distribution to ensure accurate representation.

The Greens’ survey was carried out by Essential Research using a random sample from the Your Source online panel with quotas placed on gender, age and location, weighted to the Australian census.

The Greens say the sample and results of the survey, which consisted of 1507 interviews, were comparable to previous ones done in 2014 and 2013.

The Greens said its latest survey, which just focused on coal, revealed that “Queenslanders love the Great Barrier Reef and believe the dying coal industry should be made to clean up its own mess, instead of leaving taxpayers to foot the bill”

It found that nearly 60% believed that Australia needed to phase out coal mining because it drives global warming which is threatening the survival of the Great Barrier Reef.