More than 80 per cent of young people in Central and North Queensland believe the coal sector and the jobs it creates are critical to the state’s economy, particularly regional Queensland.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan has welcomed the release of Reachtel polling conducted across the federal seats of Herbert, Dawson, Capricornia and Flynn showing growing support for Queensland’s coal industry and a strong local appreciation for the sector.
“Great communities like Townsville, Bowen, Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, the Central Highlands and dozens of others have prospered because of the mining sector. These figures show that the locals – those whose opinions actually matter – understand and appreciate that fact,” Minister Canavan said.
“They know that statewide unemployment has jumped from 5.9 to 6.4 per cent under the Palaszczuk Government, because they live with the consequences every day.
“The desperate need for jobs linked to the coal sector is keenly felt in Central Queensland, where unemployment sits at 6.8 per cent. Jobs created by coal are even more important for people living in the Townsville region, where unemployment is at 8.9 per cent.”
Minister Canavan said the polling, conducted in March, October and December, showed an increase on each occasion in respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing with positive statements about coal’s contribution to the state’s economy and to job creation.
“Earlier this month, 84.9 per cent of total respondents across those four seats agreed or strongly agreed that the coal sector is a key contributor to regional Queensland’s economy,” he said.
“An almost identical number, 84.8 per cent, agreed or strongly agreed that the jobs generated by coal are important for regional Queensland.
“Interestingly, the strongest acknowledgement of coal’s contribution to the Queensland economy came from the 18 to 34 year olds. This proves that young people living in Central and North Queensland understand that their job security and prosperity depends on the success of the coal industry.
“In fact, 82.9 per cent of 18-34 year olds surveyed agree or strongly agree that the coal industry is important to the Queensland economy. An even greater number, 83.8 per cent of that age group, believe jobs generated by coal are important to regional areas.”
Those who disagreed or strongly disagreed that coal is an important contributor to Queensland’s economy dwindled from 15.7 per cent in March 2018 to 12.8 per cent this month.
Meanwhile, the number of people who disagreed or strongly disagreed about coal jobs being important to regional Queensland fell from 15.8 per cent to 13.7 per cent in the same period.