Australians want to put the brakes on foreign ownership of mining interests

A new survey conducted as part of a nation-wide television series on the Australian mining industry has found that Australians are heavily opposed to foreign ownership of the country's resource interests.

The survey of 1,500 people was conducted by Australia's SBS channel as part of its television series "Dirty Business:How Mining Made Australia," and reveals that nearly 70% of respondents favor restrictions on foreign ownership of Australian mining companies.

Most of the respondents said that foreign ownership of Australia's mining concerns is higher than they would prefer, and almost half of those surveyed were opposed to the recruitment of foreign labor by miners.

The survey also indicates that the China-backed mining boom has had a disparate impact on Australia's states, with Queenslanders and Western Australians twice as likely to feel that they have derived benefit from the boom than their compatriots in the south-eastern states of New South Wales and Victoria.

Although people in the most populous states of NSW and Victoria feel they've missed out on the direct benefits of the resource boom, Australians in general believe that the mining sector has served the country well during tough economic times — 44% of respondents believe the mining sector helped insulate Australia from the impact of the GFC, with only 9% demurring.