A new poll commissioned by Lock the Gate Alliance has revealed that an overwhelming majority of Tamworth voters are opposed to plans for coal and coal seam gas mining in north-west NSW.
The poll found that:
- 87% of respondents were concerned about the risks of coal seam gas mining
- 83.4% of respondents said landholders should have the right to say 'no' to mining
- 66% of respondents were opposed to any coal mines on the Liverpool Plains
Farmer and landholder opposition to coal and coal seam gas has developed as a major election issue for several National-held seats in the Northern Rivers and North West NSW, including the marginal electorate of Tamworth.
The poll identified an emerging problem for the sitting member, Nationals MP Kevin Anderson, with a majority of National Party voters [55.2%] now against coal mining on the Liverpool Plains and only 27% in support.
"Coal and gas mining are major threats to food production, and to agricultural land and water supplies of regional communities in NSW" said Phil Laird, National Coordinator with Lock the Gate Alliance.
"Before the last election the NSW Government promised to protect farmland from mining, but it ignored those promises once it gained office and approved the Shenhua Watermark coal mine on the Liverpool Plains.
"This poll reveals that the NSW Government is dramatically out of step with the community on this issue. Most people in the Tamworth electorate [52.7%] say they are more likely to vote for someone that’s opposed to coal and coal seam gas mining in the north-west of NSW.
"That sentiment was borne out by the huge rally in Gunnedah on Sunday against coal and gas mining in the region.
"The NSW Government has been tinkering around the edges, cancelling a couple of non-active CSG licences. This poll shows it's not good enough - communities want to see coal and gas mining banned in our priceless food-producing lands and water resources.
"We're waiting for action to stop the imminent threats of coal mining on the Liverpool Plains and coal seam gas in the Pilliga. This will be a decisive issue in the upcoming election" he said.
The polling results are available for viewing here.
 Reachtel conducted the survey of 686 residents across the NSW electorate of Tamworth on 11 March 2015.