New Poll - Overwhelming Community Support for Farmers' Right to Say 'No' to Mining

Published: June 18, 2013

New polling results show that people throughout NSW overwhelmingly support the rights of farmers and landholders to veto mining on their land, strengthening the case for that right to be protected in law, according to the Lock The Gate Alliance.

The poll was commissioned jointly by the Lock The Gate Alliance, the Southern Highlands Coal Action Group, and the Hunter Valley Protection Alliance.

The poll of 1100 people in New South Wales, conducted by Essential research, revealed that 86 per cent of respondents supported landowners having the right to refuse mining companies getting access to their land.

"Communities all over NSW are registering strong alarm over the intrusion of coal and coal seam gas mining onto productive farm land and critical areas for industries such as horse breeding, wine growing and tourism " said Drew Hutton, President of Lock The Gate Alliance.

"The federal parliament, in particular, would be well advised to follow public opinion on this issue and deliver legal protection for landholders around the country.

"Tony Abbott has claimed that he supports landholder rights to say 'No' to mining, but won't agree to enshrining that right in law.  We're asking him to reconsider that view in light of this poll result."

Spokesperson for the Southern Highlands Coal Action Group, Peter Martin, called on the Liberal-National governments in New South Wales to uphold landholders' rights.

"It is clear from the poll result that Liberal leaning voters have extremely high levels of support for a policy supporting a landholders right to say 'no' " Peter Martin said.

"The O'Farrell Government needs to strengthen the laws governing mining and gas to give more power to landholders, rather than implementing its current plans to actually weaken landholder rights via changes to the Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment Act.

"Farming industries, which are worth billions of dollars to Australia, should not become second class citizens who can be steam-rolled by coal and gas miners with the backing of the NSW Government" he said.

Download the full poll result here.

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