SYDNEY: New polling conducted by Essential Research and commissioned by Australia has found that two thirds of Australians believe coal mining should be phased because it causes global warming and damages the Great Barrier Reef.

Two thirds of Australians surveyed agreed that coal damages people’s health and that the industry’s negative impacts outweigh any benefits.

The national poll, which was based on 1507 interviews in October 2015, also found that four out of five  Australians think mining operations damage the natural environment and that laws should compel mining companies, not taxpayers, to pay to clean up that damage.

“These results again show that the coal industry has lost its social license, said Charlie Wood, campaigns director for Australia.  “Australians are seeing through the spin and botched PR campaigns to the real truth about the coal industry – an industry that takes billions of dollars from taxpayers to pollute our environment,  and wreck our health.

“Despite their noise, the coal industry employs less than half of 1% of the Australian workforce. In return for that minute economic contribution, we get illness and environmental pollution on a grand scale.

“As we head into an election year, the question of why our Government continues to prop up an industry that causes far more damage than it does good should be at the forefront of every voter’s mind.

“These results show that Australians are sick and tired of politicians putting polluters ahead of the people they were elected to represent. This is a loud and clear mandate for our political leaders to get serious about rapidly phasing out coal,” concluded Wood.

The full polling results can be downloaded here