8 in 10 say acquisitions by foreign governments would have an impact on Australia’s energy security

An exclusive Mining M&A poll has shown that 84% of Australians polled believe that the acquisition of rail, mines and ports by foreign governments would impact Australia’s energy security.

Foreign investment in Australian infrastructure is back in the news, following Chinese Premier Li’s visit to Australia and Yancoal’s proposed acquisition of Coal & Allied assets in New South Wales.

The Chinese state-owned miner’s offer is currently being considered by the Foreign Investment Review Board, the Treasury body that scrutinises foreign takeovers. The most controversial aspect of the deal is likely to be a Coal & Allied’s 38.4% interest in Port Waratah Coal Services, the main operator at Newcastle Port.

Some security analysts have warned that when combined with existing Chinese government holdings in the port, this would give China excessive influence over Australian coal exports.

The poll, which ran online over the course of last week, shows that the public appear to agree with this analysis. Over 1000 Australian’s were polled, with an overwhelming majority agreeing that the sale of key energy infrastructure to foreign governments could impact on energy security.