Opposition to Queensland’s Adani coal mine growing: poll

Opposition to the Adani coal mine is growing

A new poll shows opposition to the development of the Adani coal mine in Queensland is growing.

According to the Brisbane Times, a ReachTEL poll of 3,312 people this month found 65.1 per cent of Australians opposed or strongly opposed the coal mine. That’s a 13.2 per cent rise, up from 51.9 per cent in March last year.

Commissioned by the Stop Adani Alliance, the poll found a majority of voters from all sides of politics oppose the mine:

  • Nationals (55.3%)
  • One Nation (52.9%)
  • Labor (75.6%)
  • Greens (94.2%)

Queensland’s back flip on Adani coal mine support

The Queensland Palaszczuk Government approved the mineral lease for the Adani coal mine in April 2016. However, Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk has since withdrawn her government’s support.

The Adani coal mine

The Adani coal mine would also be open cut, similar to this one.

In a letter to the Premier in December, the Stop Adani Alliance congratulated her for vetoing a government infrastructure loan to Adani.

“Funding this project would miss the opportunity to invest in the infrastructure North Queensland does really need, including agricultural innovation, tourism, telecommunications and renewable energy,” the Alliance said.

It then called on the Premier to buy back Adani’s mining lease, or cancel it through an amendment to the Mineral Resources Act.

Political and financial support on the wane

Recently, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told the National Press Club that the coal mine would have to be commercially and environmentally viable.

Internally, Labor’s shadow cabinet has discussed whether to oppose the project. Mr Shorten has promised a decision before the next election, which is due in the next 18 months.

Last year, the mine suffered another set back when the Commonwealth Bank issued a statement saying it would not fund the project.

In a statement submitted to the ASX the bank’s chairperson Catherine Livingstone stated:

“[Our] coal funding is comparatively small and has been trending down for some time. We expect that trend to continue over time as we help finance the transition to a low carbon economy.”

Concerned by the state government’s opposition to the mine, Chinese investors also announced they were also withdrawing support. However, Adani has said it will build the coal mine even without government investment.

Poll finds Australians just don’t want coal mines

The ReachTEL poll also showed 73.5 per cent support for stopping the expansion of all coal mining. Respondents want more solar power and battery storage to reduce the threat of climate change.

Australian Conservation Foundation chief executive Kelly O’Shanassy said the poll shows  opposition to the coal mine is growing.

“We are encouraged by the comments of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten that the ALP is scrutinising the merits of the dirty Adani project,” she said.

“He should reject the mine. A clear rejection of the mine and a pledge to stop it would be Mr Shorten’s Franklin River moment.”