THE vast majority of Australians agree the mining industry makes an important contribution to the economy. But more than 40 per cent believe mining companies should pay more in taxes, a new poll has found.
The poll - an unsolicited quarterly survey on attitudes to the mining industry called David Utting Communications/UMR Australian Mining Monitor- found 93 per cent of people polled believe the industry makes an important contribution to the economy. Of those, 63 per cent say it is a ''very important'' contribution.
Despite this, only 49 per cent felt mining companies were good corporate citizens and 41 per cent thought companies paid too little in federal taxes.
The survey found 85 per cent of people said coal and iron ore made an important contribution, 84 per cent agreed gas made an important contribution, while on gold, 74 per cent said it was important, and 66 per cent said uranium made an important contribution.
With consultations over the minerals resource rent tax continuing, voters from Labor, 56 per cent, and the Greens, 62 per cent, said mining companies were paying too little in taxes - 49 per cent of university graduates also agreed, as did people over 30.
By comparison 55 per cent of Coalition voters said miners were paying the right amount, as well as 50 per cent of people under 30.
David Utting, managing director of mining consultancy David Utting Communications, said: ''At a time when taxes and royalties are key elements of national economic debate and mining and the environment are hot button issues, Australians are generally quite comfortable with the mining industry''.