Government spending on energy sources

Mar 10, 2020

Q To what extent would you support or oppose the Government spending taxpayers’ money to research the following energy sources?

  NET: Support NET: Oppose Strongly support Somewhat support Neither support nor oppose Somewhat oppose Strongly oppose
Renewables (such as large-scale solar or wind farms) 71% 12% 45% 27% 16% 7% 5%
Hydrogen technology 57% 10% 24% 33% 32% 7% 3%
Clean coal 50% 23% 20% 29% 28% 11% 11%
Nuclear 38% 35% 17% 21% 27% 15% 20%

 

    Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention Location
NET: Support Total Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor Coalition Greens NET: Other Capital City Non-Capital City
Renewables (such as large-

scale solar or wind farms)

71% 71% 72% 74% 69% 72% 78% 66% 95% 63% 74% 67%
Hydrogen technology 57% 65% 51% 53% 52% 66% 58% 61% 63% 54% 59% 53%
Clean coal 50% 50% 50% 49% 44% 56% 43% 64% 28% 48% 51% 47%
Nuclear 38% 47% 30% 32% 34% 47% 34% 50% 25% 37% 39% 36%
  • 71% of participants support the Government spending taxpayers’ money to research renewables, compared to 50% support for clean coal.
  • Support for research into renewables is higher in capital cities (74%) than non-capital cities (67%), and higher among Greens voters (95%) than all other voters (63%).
  • Coalition voters are most likely to support research into clean coal (64%) and nuclear power (50%) whereas Greens voters are least likely to support those energy sources (28% and 25% respectively).
  • Men tend to support research into hydrogen technology (65%) and nuclear (47%) more than women (51% and 30% respectively).
  • Participants over 55 years are more likely to support research into hydrogen technology (66%), clean coal (56%) or nuclear (47%) than those aged 18-54 (52%, 46% and 33% respectively).

Government support for coal-fired power plants

Feb 25, 2020

Q. Which of the following statements regarding the future of coal is closest to your view?

  Total Federal Voting Intention (Lower House)
  Labor Coalition Greens NET: Other
The government should be working to shut down mines and coal-fired power plants as soon as possible 32% 36% 21% 62% 27%
The government should let the coal mining industry and coal-fired power plants continue operating as long as they are profitable, but not subsidise them or support the expansion of the industry 47% 45% 52% 28% 50%
The government should subsidise coal-fired power plants to keep them going and provide financial support for new mines and other projects in the coal industry 21% 19% 27% 10% 22%
Base (n) 1,090 336 390 104 146
  • 47% of participants say that letting the coal mining industry and coal-fired power plants continue operating as long as they are profitable, but not subsidise them or support the expansion of the industry is closest to their view.
  • A third (32%) say working to shut down mines and coal-fired power plants as soon as possible is closest to their view, with Greens voters most likely to select that option (62%).
  • Coalition voters are most likely to say subsidising coal-fired power plants to keep them going and provide financial support for new mines and other projects in the coal industry, is closest to their view (27%).

Attitudes towards coal

Feb 25, 2020

Q. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements about coal?

  NET: Agree NET: Disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Unsure
Improvements in renewable energy will mean that burning coal to generate electricity will become less necessary 75% 14% 43% 32% 8% 6% 11%
Advances in technology and international action on climate change will mean coal becomes uneconomical to extract in the future 65% 18% 28% 36% 12% 6% 17%
If we’re serious about dealing with climate change, Australia needs to get out of coal as soon as possible 64% 24% 34% 29% 13% 11% 13%
Even if Australia stops exporting coal for electricity generation, it should still export coal for steel production 61% 19% 26% 36% 12% 7% 20%
Rather than digging it all up now, Australia should leave its coal resources in the ground to use when it becomes more valuable in the future 53% 29% 21% 33% 20% 8% 18%

 

NET: Agree   Age Federal Voting Intention (Lower House)
Total 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor Coalition Greens NET: Other
Improvements in renewable energy will mean that burning coal to generate electricity will become less necessary 75% 80% 76% 70% 82% 70% 83% 68%
Advances in technology and international action on climate change will mean coal becomes uneconomical to extract in the future 65% 74% 61% 61% 73% 60% 70% 53%
If we’re serious about dealing with climate change, Australia needs to get out of coal as soon as possible 64% 75% 65% 52% 72% 54% 87% 49%
Even if Australia stops exporting coal for electricity generation, it should still export coal for steel production 61% 61% 64% 59% 60% 72% 38% 59%
Rather than digging it all up now, Australia should leave its coal resources in the ground to use when it becomes more valuable in the future 53% 64% 53% 44% 57% 50% 56% 45%
Base (n) 1,090 341 374 375 336 390 104 146
  • Three-quarters of participants (75%) agree that improvements in renewable energy will mean that burning coal to generate electricity will become less necessary, 65% agree that advances in technology and international action on climate change will mean coal becomes uneconomical to extract in the future and 64% agree if we’re serious about dealing with climate change, Australia needs to get out of coal as soon as possible.
  • Participants aged 18-34, those with a university education and Greens or Labor voters are more likely to agree with these statements than those over 55, those with a secondary school education and Coalition or other voters (other minor party or independent candidate).
  • Coalition voters are most likely to agree that even if Australia stops exporting coal for electricity generation, it should still export coal for steel production (72%), compared to 38% of Greens voters.
  • Capital city residents are more likely to agree if we’re serious about dealing with climate change, Australia needs to get out of coal as soon as possible (67%) and rather than digging it all up now, Australia should leave its coal resources in the ground to use when it becomes more valuable in the future (56%); than non-capital city residents (56% and 47% respectively).

Climate Change Policy Proposals

Jan 29, 2020

Q. To what extent would you support or oppose the following policy proposals if they were adopted by the Federal Government?

  NET: Support NET: Oppose Strongly support Somewhat support Somewhat oppose Strongly oppose
Accelerate development of new industries and jobs that are powered by renewable energy 81% 19% 41% 40% 12% 7%
Setting a zero-carbon pollution target for 2050 71% 29% 32% 39% 18% 12%
Requiring mining companies to fund bushfire hazard reduction 68% 32% 25% 43% 21% 11%
Remove taxpayer funded subsidies to the fossil fuel industry 68% 32% 30% 38% 22% 11%
Setting a zero-carbon pollution target for 2030 64% 36% 26% 38% 21% 15%
Ban all political donations from fossil fuel companies 62% 38% 28% 34% 25% 13%
Prevention of new coal mines opening in Australia 62% 38% 27% 35% 23% 16%

 

  Voting Intention
 NET: SUPPORT Total Labor Liberal + National Greens NET: Other
Accelerate development of new industries and jobs that are powered by renewable energy 81% 86% 75% 87% 77%
Setting a zero-carbon pollution target for 2050 71% 81% 56% 89% 62%
Requiring mining companies to fund bushfire hazard reduction 68% 78% 54% 76% 68%
Remove taxpayer funded subsidies to the fossil fuel industry 68% 77% 56% 83% 64%
Setting a zero-carbon pollution target for 2030 64% 77% 47% 87% 52%
Ban all political donations from fossil fuel companies 62% 72% 48% 79% 57%
Prevention of new coal mines opening in Australia 62% 70% 48% 84% 51%
Base (n) 1,080 351 342 110 156
  • 81% of participants support the accelerated development of new industries and jobs that are powered by renewable energy and 71% support a zero-carbon pollution target to be set for 2050.
  • Support for all policies was higher among Labor and greens voters, and lower among Coalition.

Rolling in Dough

Jun 25, 2012

As Gina continues on her “I, Gina” self-absorbed stomp, it’s always useful to keep in mind that a society always has the ultimate option: if rich people, or mining barons, don’t care about the national interest, they can just move somewhere else. And what is pretty clear is that most don’t, and won’t, because they have it good where they are–which brings us to the whinging about resources taxes.

Gina and her ilk–Clive Palmer and Twiggy Forrest come most quickly to mind–bring up the usual fiction heard around the world whenever higher taxes on the wealthy are pushed as a way of making sure a society sustains itself: it’s anti-business and hurts “us” from being competitive.

Well, to focus on just mining, that’s pure rubbish, as we learn from a pithy summary from Peter Colley, National Research Director at the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (we don’t have a link to a place it might be posted–we’re just privileged to get such gripping, novelistic American Idol-like fare sent our way…). As Peter writes:

One would think the mining companies were losing money when the overall picture for the mining industry globally is one of rude good health.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers, one of the global Big 4 accounting firms, in their annual survey of the mining industry summarised the good news for big mining companies:

“In 2011, the financial results for the Top 40 hit new heights”, it said, listing the following facts:

• Revenues increased 26% to over $700 billion

• Net profit was up 21% to $133 billion

• Operating cash flows grew 34% to $174 billion

• Investing cash flows grew 92%

• The Top 40 returned 156% more to shareholders than in 2010

• Total assets remained above $1 trillion and grew a further 13%.

Imagine that. They are rolling in dough. And it isn’t the case that the local barons, Gina and The Gang, would have it so much better in another place on the planet. Back to Peter:

At least 25 countries increased taxes and royalties on their mining industries, or announced intentions to do so. These include all the major mining nations – Canada, the USA, South Africa, Indonesia, Chile, Brazil, Colombia and even China and India.

These taxes and royalties are often far higher than in Australia – in Colombia they can reach 81% of coal mining profit, while in the oil and gas sector it is well known that Norway taxes almost all the profit of the North Sea oil industry – but what remains is still enough to keep the investors coming.

So, the proper response to “we’ll take our business elsewhere” should be, “what flight can we book you on?” The truth is that what Gina and The Gang are really up to is a extortion–but they aren’t holding much of a weapon. The resources are in the ground. You can’t take it with you. But, by all means, if life is so cruel for Gina and The Gang, the country should organize a collective farewell party, wave goodbye and invite others to do their business here.

UPDATE:

And we neglected to mention that Fortescue is out there whinging about the mining tax and, per the SMH, taking the government to court:

While large miners Rio Tinto and BHP were able to strike a deal with the federal government over the final scope of the tax, smaller miners including Fortescue and Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting have waged a fierce battle against the tax.

Fortescue has been threatening to challenge the MRRT in the High Court for months, arguing it is unfair and was been stitched up by the government in conjunction with the big miners.

A spokesman for the acting prime minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan said the challenge had not come as a surprise.

”Mr Forrest has made it clear that he is staunchly opposed to the government spreading the benefits of the mining boom to millions of households and small businesses who aren’t in the fast lane,” he said.

“The Gillard government believes Australia’s non-renewable natural resources belong to all Australians, not just to a handful of mining billionaires, and is determined to deliver the MRRT to ensure the Australian community shares in the benefits and opportunities of the mining boom.” [emphasis added]

To which we say: good on the government, and the Swanster for saying what needed to be said.


@jonathantasini

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