The ‘stop everything’ agenda stopped by the voters

September 12, 2013

Stephen Galilee
CEO, NSW Minerals Council

Last Saturday’s election result delivered a clear verdict on the voters’ choice for a new government.
It also delivered a clear message of rejection to candidates and parties seeking to gain political traction by running on a ‘stop everything’ agenda targeting mining and resources.
The massive drop in support for the Greens is the most spectacular example of this. Nationwide and across NSW the Greens suffered a drop in their vote of over 25 per cent, meaning that one in four people who voted for the Greens in 2010 dumped them in 2013.
Greens candidates also suffered significant swings in electorates in the key mining regions of the Hunter and the Illawarra in NSW.
In the Hunter, the electorates of Hunter and Newcastle saw the Greens vote drop by well over 25 per cent. In neighbouring Charlton and Shortland the swing away from the Greens was over 30 per cent.
It was a similar story in the Illawarra with a fall in the Greens vote of over 30 per cent in Cunningham and a massive 60 per cent in Throsby.
These results are a significant rejection of the Greens’ anti-mining agenda. In all of these electorates the Greens candidates campaigned against mining. The voting public were left with a clear understanding that the Greens opposed mining and were campaigning to end, or at the very least severely restrict the industry. This was reinforced by the repeated public statements and campaign material of their candidates, as well as the rhetoric of their national leaders, Senate candidates, and spokespeople.
The voters are not mugs. Mining region voters in particular are very good at recognising a threat to their livelihoods. The Greens anti-mining campaign was recognised as a direct threat to the industry that provides so many thousands of jobs across these critical regional communities. As a result the Greens have been massively rebuffed across the nation, across NSW, and particularly across the NSW mining regions of the Hunter and the Illawarra.  

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