According to the latest public opinion research conducted for Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) by JWS Research in May 2018, opinions of Australians towards the mining sector are at their highest level in six years, with net favourability rebounding to +28 after hitting a low of +1 in February 2016.
The research also shows that views towards coal mining, iron ore, gold and uranium have all significantly improved since early 2016.
Outright support for the mining industry amongst Australians reportedly outweighs opposition by more than three to one, with total support at 46% versus total opposition at 13%.
The main reasons provided by respondents to support the Australian mining industry included:
- Providing high-wage, high-skill, high-technology jobs for Australians (55% agreement).
- Providing resources essential for modern life, technology and business in Australia (55%).
- Providing almost 60% of the jobs in the regional communities in which it operates (53%).
Australians reportedly had positive views on the perceived importance of resource industries for the nation’s future. Iron ore was seen by 14% of people as the most important resource, with coal and battery minerals like lithium and cobalt (both 9%) also seen as important.
The qualitative phase of the research consisted of face to face focus group discussions in Parramatta and Melbourne and online discussion forums amongst regional mining communities, whilst a nationally representative sample of 1500 Australians was surveyed in the quantitative phase.
However, the results also highlight the fact that the mining industry needs to do more to address perceptions amongst some Australians that the industry does not do enough to manage its environmental impact, look after employees or share prosperity across the community.
Almost half of those surveyed believed mining companies should be repatriating land that had been mined, with strong views also recorded on the need for companies to invest in health and welfare programmes, including mental health and social welfare.
Australian mining has a strong track record in mine rehabilitation and investing in regional communities. The research indicates that the industry needs to provide more information to the public about its positive activities in these and other areas.
The research also indicated that the MCA’s Making the Future Possible industry positioning campaign is having a positive effect. Net favourability of the mining industry was six points higher (+34 versus +28) amongst those who had seen the campaign, increasing to +40 amongst all Australians after they had seen the campaign and considered reasons to support and oppose the Australian mining industry.
The MCA and its members are to use these results in future industry communication and campaigning work, to underline the great work being done by Australian mining companies in responsible environmental management and health and safety.
Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/mining/06082018/mcas-latest-public-opinion-research-shows-positive-support-for-australian-mining-sector/