The Australians for Coal website launched to an online storm from activists, but industry insiders say it was this attention that has made the initiative a success.
The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) launched the site last Monday in a bid to give those who support the industry “a voice against the activists and extremists who want to tear the sector down”.
It said the website will set the record straight on a number of issues surrounding the coal sector including community support, job numbers, economic value and the environment.
The #australiansforcoal hashtag was soon hijacked by people making a sham of the campaign.
Tweets started rolling in from all over the country from people against the site and against the industry such as “Because I hate breathing fresh air, eating food and drinking clean water I'm with #australiansforcoal #auspol”
But industry sources say that with 500,000 page views and more than 35,000 emails sent from the site in support of the industry, the online green army “missed the marketing memo about not mentioning your opponent's brand."
"It was set up to entice the clicktivists to give it lift off and they did. It couldn't have played out any better," a source told Australian Mining.
Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon, who represents the coal mining capital of NSW, the Hunter, says MCA’s campaign was a positive one for the industry.
“I’d congratulate the mining industry for fighting back, it’s an important industry in my electorate. If anything, this fightback has come a bit late.”
MCA chief Brendan Pearson said says there is strong support for the coal sector across the country.
He said campaigns to create fear around the coal industry in the hope to end production would fail.