A report by Essential Research, released yesterday, shows an overwhelming 86 per cent of people support the right of landholders to refuse access to their land by mining companies.
The support is high among supporters of all parties, with Greens voters giving 90 per cent support and coalition voters second with 87 per cent support. Labor voters were not far behind on 82 per cent.
The results will be good news for the Greens, whose Petroleum Amendment Bill is set to be debated in the NSW upper house this week.
NSW Greens MP and mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said, ‘86 per cent of people rarely agree on anything, so the fact that such an overwhelming majority believe landholders should have the right to lock the gate to mining and gas companies is highly significant.’
Support was slightly higher in the regions than in Sydney (88 per cent versus 85 per cent) and slightly higher among female than male voters (90 per cent versus 82 per cent). Older voters were also more likely to support the move than their more youthful counterparts but amongst all groups support never fell below 77 per cent.
Both the ALP and the Nationals federal candidates in the region have been sparring over who has the better anti-CSG credentials in the lead-up to the election. The legislation will give their state counterparts the chance to put their money where their mouth is on the issue of mining.
‘All sides of politics will have the chance to vote on the Lock the Gate laws and give landholders the right to refuse an access agreement in the Legislative Council this week,’ Mr Buckingham said.
‘The law currently facilitates mining companies taking landholders into compulsory arbitration to force access within 56 days of giving initial notice, and the mining company can also deny a landholder legal counsel during the arbitration process.
‘The current land access laws are grossly weighted in favour of the mining companies and this is widely acknowledged by the public with only 3 per cent of respondents in the poll saying they strongly support mining companies accessing land without the agreement of the landholder.’