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The Briefing

Why are mining electorates so important?


Coal mining employs around 50,000 people directly... so why does coal dominate Australian politics?! 

It came up again at the weekend’s NSW by-election where Labor got smashed and the Nationals were re-elected.    Kosmos Samaras is a former Labor strategist and is a director at the political consultancy firm Redbridge.  He provides a fascinating insight into why these electorates hold such massive influence. 

There are around 240,000 people employed by the mining   industry in Australia. 50,000 in coal... but there’s 250,000 who work in arts   and recreation - health care for example employs 1.8m but they don’t seem to   be swinging elections as voter block... so what’s going on?  The answer lies in a surprising insight   into the psyche of rural Australia. 

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Episode 116

Season 2