Internal polling conducted by WA Chamber of Mines and Energy has affirmed the iron ore miners’ collective view that their public standing is nowhere near as parlous as the state’s political classes, among others, might imagine.
The polling was taken in preparation for a sustained pre-election assault by the mining industry on the proposal by the new National Party leader, Brendon Grylls, to extract up to $3 billion from Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton through increases in rents required by their various Pilbara mining leases.
Some 938 West Australians living in predominantly National Party seats were last week asked to, among other things, rate the four companies on their favourability. They were also asked to rank the mining’s importance to the state. And the results were as surprising as they were affirming for the miners, with 94 per cent of respondents agreeing that mining was either very important or somewhat important to the WA economy.
Only agriculture did better with a 98 per cent endorsement, which is no surprise given the rural focus of the first of the CME’s tracking polling that will continue through to next year’s state election on March 11.
Before we go on, let’s put the CME’s sample size into some context. Newspoll would routinely test the views of 1200 in a nationwide poll. So this is a comparatively big survey given its tighter demographic focus.
For the rest of this column, click here: http://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/miners-polling-cracks-wa-myths-behind-big-new-tax-20161014-gs2ttl