Most Australians Against Uranium Sale To India: Survey

The Australian government might have overturned a ban on uranium sale to India but a majority of people in the country still appear opposed to the idea of selling the mineral to New Delhi.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

MELBOURNE: The Australian government might have overturned a ban on uranium sale to India but a majority of people in the country still appear opposed to the idea of selling the mineral to New Delhi.

In a new survey, a majority of Australians were found to be against the recent Labor party decision of lifting ban on Uranium sale to India with 61 per cent opposing it.

"More than 60 per cent of Australians say they are against 'Australia selling uranium to India', with 39 per cent saying they are 'strongly against'," according to the eight annual Lowy Institute poll 2012.

In December 2011, the Australian Labor Party had overturned a ban on the sale of uranium to India following a heated national conference debate.

The results were published by the Lowy institute poll after a nationally representative opinion survey of 1,005 Australian adults was done.

Key issues covered in the poll included uranium sale to India, relations with Fiji, the Bali bombings, climate change, the war in Afghanistan, migration, US presidential elections, US military bases, and attitudes towards democracy and human rights.

The poll also included questions of migration, a perennially controversial topic.

It revealed that Australians recognised the need for short-term migration to address worker shortages with 62 per cent saying they were in favour of 'the government allowing in extra workers from foreign countries' when 'there are shortages of workers in Australia and companies in Australia cannot find enough skilled workers'.

However, it was found that there was major opposition against large-scale foreign investment.

The poll also included several new questions about Australia's image and engagement with the neighbourhood.

It was found that Australians believe it was important to be liked by neighbours, with 68 per cent saying it was 'very important' for 'Australia to be seen in a positive light by people from countries in region', with another 26 per cent saying it is 'somewhat important'.

They also supported government efforts to communicate with countries in the region.

Over 81 per cent said they were in favour of 'the Australian government funding broadcast services or other programmes to communicate with people from countries in our region, with the aim of improving relations with those countries', with 38 per cent saying they are 'strongly in favour'.