Polling conducted over the weekend shows strong local support for the Newcastle City Council’s decision to include environmental and socially responsible factors together with financial returns in their investments.
47.3% of Novocastrians supported the council’s decision, while 24.8% were opposed.
Additionally, the majority (51.9%) of respondents to the ReachTEL polling thought that coal investments were financially risky. 25.8% thought coal investments are financially safe.
The Newcastle City Council meets again today with a motion to overturn the decision on the agenda.
“This polling shows that people living at the world’s largest coal port understand that coal is not a smart investment for the future,” Director of Research at The Australia Institute, Rod Campbell said.
“Critics of the Council’s decision have said it should stay invested in coal because of the economic benefits and jobs in the region.”
Today, Rod Campbell will appear before the latest PAC hearings over the Mount Thorley Warkworth expansion proposal, one of the most controversial mines in the Hunter Valley. A key development on this project is that Rio Tinto is openly trying to sell the mine, meaning any jobs will be dependent of the plans of a future buyer.
“The Minerals Council’s recent PR campaign wants people to support more coal mines because ‘coal is amazing’. Both Rio Tinto and the people of Newcastle, the world’s biggest coal port, appear not to agree,” Campbell said.