A confidential online survey circulated by a mining-linked law firm suggests the Queensland and federal governments are making life difficult for smaller mining companies and suggests subsidies for a range of mining activities, as part of an unidentified “new initiative” for smaller resource companies.

The survey comes the day after Australia was confirmed, for the third year running, as the best country in the world for mining investment.

The survey has been circulated by Brisbane law firm McCullough Robertson, which has extensive links with the mining industry, and Brisbane PR firm ProdigyPlus (kudos for the Flash homepage intro). McCullough Robertson special counsel Swain Roberts is chairman of LNP MP Alex Somlyay’s federal divisional council.

“Do you agree with the direction the federal and Queensland state governments — collectively government — is taking the resources industry?” reads the first question, followed by “do you agree that it is now more difficult than ever to establish a new mining project within Queensland?”

The survey also identifies a range of business activities related to mining, including geology and engineering, and seeks views on whether “you think it would be a good thing if these specialised services were subsidised in some way to make them more affordable to young resource companies?”

The survey also includes a question about whether initiatives that make new mining ventures easier are “a good idea”.

McCullough Robertson’s Kirstie Fankhauser told Crikey the survey was only 48 hours old and results would be announced next week.

Mining has played a significant role in the Queensland election, with coal seam gas regulation a major issue, mining companies campaigning against the Bligh government and LNP patron Clive Palmer weighing in from orbit (around which planet has yet to be established) on the role of the CIA.

Last week the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) produced a Queensland election policy demanding a review of environmental protections, the removal of reporting and approval requirements and handouts for miners.