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Overwhelming majority support PM’s crackdown against anti mining activists

Scott Morrison and Ian Macfarlane
Scott Morrison (L) and Ian Macfarlane.

Most voters support the prime minister’s tough stance against “selfish, indulgent and apocalyptic” environmental activists who keep “testing the limits” of the right to protest in public, a new survey has revealed.

Essential Research’s Performance of Scott Morrison Report shows 58 per cent poll of 1075 sample respondents agree the government is within its rights to limit Australian residents from protesting if it disrupts businesses. This response was overwhelmingly positive compared to just 31 per cent who disagreed.

Industry deserves special treatment

The response came just weeks after hundreds of anti coal activists interfered with industry delegates who were trying to enter and exit the 2019 International Mining and Resources Conference, held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from October 26 to 29.

The PM previously indicated he would follow the Queensland Government’s example in banning extreme activism and potentially introducing tougher penalties to further deter people from joining demonstrations that divert police officers away from their duties.

“In a heated address to the Queensland Resources Council, Scott Morrison vowed to examine legal avenues to prevent activists from boycotting damaging industries, including the coal mining sector,” Essential said on Facebook. “The speech gathered attention for its seeming threat to freedom of speech but Australians seem to agree that business interests deserve special consideration.”

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ScoMo has right to limit protests

The report also found 47 per cent agreed the government has the right to limit residents from protesting if it would contradict the national interest compared to 41 per cent who objected.

“Older respondents aged over 55 were more likely than younger people (18 to 34) to agree that the government has the right to limit protests when they disrupt businesses (62 per cent to 54 per cent),” the report said. “The government [also] has the right to limit citizen protests when it is contrary to the national interest (52 per cent to 41 per cent).”

Older Aussies agree

Over 55s were also less likely to agree protestors should have the right to pressure banks not to invest in companies that are building coal mines compared to younger people (60 per cent to 48 per cent).

More than half of Coalition voters support the government’s crackdown at 56 per cent while there was less support from those who vote for Labor (24 per cents), the Greens (12 per cent) and other minor parties or independents (23 per cent).

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