Poll result: Should Adani's coalmine be stopped?


We asked our readers whether Adani's controversial coalmine should go ahead. Here's what they said.

There has been considerable debate, as well as controversy recently, about Adani’s proposed Carmichael coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

If the mine goes ahead, depending on what you believe, it could create thousands of jobs and billions in export earnings for Australia — or it could be a financial and environmental disaster.

It is essential the right decision is made, as once started these projects are difficult to unwind and it will be there for a very long time.

We’re not taking a view, but we did want to gauge the pulse of a good cross-section of people in the street – or at least those who visit our website. So, recently the Mining People Polling and Media Centre asked this question:

Do you think the mine should proceed?

We received another excellent voter turnout with a shade under 500 votes cast, with these results:

Yes 53.5%
No 46.5%

That’s a fairly close call! 

Where did our voters come from?

We then asked all those people to let us know if they lived and worked in Queensland. Here’s the breakdown:

Yes, I live in Queensland 33.1%
No, I don’t live in Queensland 66.9%

As you may have seen during the recent Queensland state election (well, elections, actually) the Adani mine was the subject of a considerable amount of voter polling into Queensland electorates – and regional Queensland electorates, specifically. The results of those polls showed a majority of people wanted the mine to go ahead.

It cannot be proven by our poll, but it is probably fair to conclude that if our poll only attracted 33 per cent of its voters from Queensland, but it still received a 53.5 per cent yes vote, then the yes vote in Queensland was almost certainly much higher.

So why did people vote the way they did?

We also asked people to tell us why they supported the mine or why they did not, with the following fascinating results:

Yes: it will create jobs 31.5%
No: it will damage the environment 26.0%
No: the owner is untrustworthy      15.3%
Yes: it is environmentally safe 11.3%
No: it is not financially viable 8.2%
Yes: it will create export earnings 7.7%


We then asked: if you work in the Queensland mining industry, what is your responsibility level:

Non-supervisory 36.0%
Supervisory 30.7%
Management  33.3%


And lastly, to gauge the visibility of this issue, we asked: have you seen or heard any of the reporting on Adani’s proposed Carmichael Mine? 

Yes, I have 72.0%
No, I haven’t 28.0%

Here’s what we can tell from our poll

Some of these figures are a little raw, but if you don’t get too lost in the detail the takeaways are clear:

  1. It is very easy to see where the battlelines have been drawn – the need for mining jobs on the one side (most likely in regional areas) against fears over environmental damage being caused by mining activities (in pastoral areas and coal shipping routes passing over the Great Barrier Reef)
  2. Some of the strong media messages around the owner being untrustworthy are cutting through
  3. At the most basic level, individuals are far more interested in what it will do for them (jobs) or their fears (in this case for the environment) than they are in the mine owners’ financial success or the finances of the country (export earnings), both of which rate at the bottom of the list
  4. The yes/no vote seems not to be overly swayed by someone’s mining professional standing
  5. The amount of media coverage of this issue is clearly significant given 72 per cent of respondents had been exposed to the media coverage
  6. It is easy to see why politicians invest heavily in pre-election polling and then tailor their policies accordingly.

As indicated, this survey has its limitations, but it seems the results are clear.

Is it time to do some research for your enterprise?

For mining companies wanting to uncover deeper insights into all manner of mining market matters to assist in their planning, MPi has the capacity to conduct larger surveys that are targeted to specific groups.

This might assist with planning around things like:

  • Roster planning
  • Salary trends
  • Candidate market movements
  • Drug use
  • Health and safety attitudes
  • and many other topics.

If you would like to read other articles and view poll results on some of these issues, click on here. If you’re interested to target specific demographic groups and mine site locations, then consider commissioning some research and get in touch.

Steve Heather signature
Steve Heather – BAppSc (Mining Engineering) WASM, FRCSA

Managing Director & Principal Executive Search - Mining People International (MPi)

Fellow/National Board Member – Recruitment, Consulting & Staffing Association Aust. & N.Z. (RCSA)

[email protected]