Contributed by Jim Hayes
Opponents of the Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, and the associated Abbots Point rail and terminal, have just received some good news.
A poll by ReachTEL has found that 65.1 Australians are strongly opposed to the building of the mine. The poll result, which was commissioned by the Stop Adani Alliance, was released on 25 January. It involved a poll of 3312. A similar poll in March last year, saw 59.1 opposed.
There may be argument about its exact precision, given the size of the sample, but there is no denying that even factoring a significant margin for error, shows that most Australians do not want the mine.
This has been a major shift in opinion and it poses a dilemma for the Queensland Labor government. During last year’s election campaign, there was a significant move away from its previous pro Adani position. The pressure is now on to revert once again.
Some suggest that the election campaign change was not genuine. Whatever the case, the reality is that much of Labour’s base and membership are in the no camp. It exerts a great deal of pressure on the party and its leadership. As the project’s unpopularity rises, so is it more difficult for the government to step in for Adani.
The ReachTEL poll result breaks down into 75.6 percent of Labor voters opposed to Adani. This is not an issue for this party only. For the Nationals its 55.3 per cent, One Nation 52.9 and the Liberals 43.2 percent (with only 34.7 percent in support). As expected, The figure for the greens was larger and at 94.2 percent.
Nationally, Labor is distancing itself from Adani, and may even soon formally announce its opposition. So far, the federal Turnbull government, is continuing to voice its support and l further undermining its already low stocks.
This could prove to be the straw that finally destroys Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership. It might even be a significant factor in the fall of the Coalition government.
At the very least, it will add to existing disquiet within the two parties, creating more division and instability.
The results of the poll, also showed that 73.5 percent of Australians want the government to stop the expansion of all coal mining and seriously construct solar power and storage facilities, to reduce the threat of global warming.
Australia cannot afford a mine that will literally cost the earth, and Australians know it. This poll, showing such strong opposition, is significant. Governments take note, or take the consequences.