What Aussies think of mining

What Aussies really think of mining

When you read the paper, watch TV or catch up with mates, you might think that the public perception of mining is mostly negative. In fact, a recent survey conducted by the CSIRO has found that most Aussies view mining as a central and significant contributor to the nation’s economy and prosperity.

In this article, we take a look at the results and find out how average Australians weigh up the perceived benefits and impacts to determine a level of social acceptance of the industry.

Who took part in the survey?

The CSIRO conducted an online survey of 5,121 Australians about their attitudes toward the mining industry in 2014. Participants living with or near mining operations were targeted, as were those from non-mining and metropolitan regions. Other demographics included:

  • Almost 50/50 split in gender
  • 2.3% Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander
  • Low to medium self-reported knowledge of mining industry
  • Average 16% participation across all age groups (18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, 65+)
  • Mix of education backgrounds

Researchers used a broad definition of mining that included coal mining, oil and gas extraction, metal ore mining, non-metallic mineral mining and quarrying, and mineral exploration. Results were then analysed and published in a report entitled Australian attitudes toward mining: Citizen Survey - 2014 Results.

Survey says? Mining is central to Australia’s economy

The survey showed that Australians view mining as a central and significant contributor to Australia’s economy, a “necessary” industry for the country, and being important to the nation’s future prosperity. That said, many also highlight that the country, and its communities more specifically, are too dependent on mining.

Weighing up the benefits and impacts of mining

If mining is to be sustainable in Australia, it has to be accepted within society. It is when we weigh up the pros and cons, and consider how the industry behaves and is governed that we determine this level of acceptance.

In this survey, the top three perceived benefits include jobs and training for Australians, positive effects for regional communities, and improvements in regional infrastructure. While at the same time, the highest rated perceived negative impacts include the environment, the agricultural sector, health of communities and the cost of living. The final aspects considered were fairness, faith in governance and trust.

Overall, what the data showed is that the Australian public are more accepting of the mining industry when industry and governments work together to build trust in the industry.

This is certainly great news for us here at National Plant & Equipment, as specialist providers of used mining equipment for sale and mining equipment for hire. We have flexible solutions for all your earthmoving plant needs, so contact National Plant & Equipment today on 1300 794 448.

Download the Australian attitudes toward mining Citizen Survey – 2014 Results by Kieren Moffat, Airong Zhang & Naomi Boughen.