Voters back the states in energy debate

A new national poll on gas issues shows voters overwhelming support state fracking moratoriums and blame exports for gas price rises.

A survey of 1,421 Australian residents, conducted by The Australia Institute through Research Now between 17 and 26 September 2017, showed twice as many support (49%) a moratorium on fracking than oppose it (24%). (see table 1 below)

Additionally, respondents were asked if their state should increase its renewable energy target. Three quarters of respondents (74%) support an increased RET, and just 17% opposed.

This is consistent with earlier polling of 1,408 Australian residents, in April, also released in the paper today. It showed most (52%) believe exports to be having the biggest impact on gas prices, followed by market deregulation (31%), with only 17% saying state gas bans were having the biggest effect on price. (see table 2)

“Australia is about to become the world’s biggest exporter of LNG. The public isn’t buying that there is a supply problem,” Deputy Director of The Australia Institute, Ebony Bennett said.

“With the blame-game on gas and electricity prices dominating political debate, we asked Australians where they thought the fault lay and they overwhelmingly blame gas exports for gas price rises.

“The federal government’s twin attacks on state fracking moratoria and renewable energy are both running against the tide of public opinion.

“Looking at previous polling on the same issues, it appears that public opinion has not shifted since April 2017. Voters continue to blame exports, not gas moratoria for gas price rises.

“These results show the long campaign by the government to blame state fracking moratoriums is failing to cut through with the public,” Bennett said.

Table 1. Support for gas moratorium 

Gas poll

Table 2. What is having the biggest impact on gas prices?

Gas poll 2

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