15 February 2012 Advocate online poll
'Do you think the proposed Bell bay pulp mill will be built?'
NO 77.7% YES 22.3%
8 February 2012 Mercury online poll
'Are you pleased to see a financial backer for Gunns Ltd'
YES 26% No 74%
23 December 2010 Examiner newspaper online poll
Following claims by Gunns that they are making progress towards a 'social licence' for their proposed pulp mill, the northern Tasmanian newspaper 'The Examiner' ran an online opinion poll. 2007 responded to the poll question - "Do you want a pulp mill in Tasmania?"
Yes - 394 (20%)
No - 1613 (80%)
Source 'The Examiner' newspaper, 23 December 2010
2 September 2010. The Advocate newspaper online opinion poll
The Advocate newspaper in NW Tasmania ran an online opinion poll which apparently included questions about Gunns' proposed pulp mill. However the questions and the results were not published online. See Advocate
1 August 2010. Voter suppport for party intending to use taxpayer money to suppport the pulp mill
TAP conducted a telephone survey between Tuesday 20 July and Thursday 29 July 2010.
258 Tasmanian voters chosen at random from the north and north-east 63 telephone district were interviewed by phone and asked a single question relating to voting and Gunns’ proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill.
The question stated, “A federal election has been called. Would you be more or less likely to vote for a party intending to use taxpayers’ money to support Gunns’ proposed pulp mill?” Results:
- More likely 26%
- Less likely 55%
- Unsure 19%
More than half the residents of the 63 telephone district (55%) say they are less likely to vote for a political party that intends to use taxpayer money to support Gunns’ proposed pulp mill in the Tamar Valley. Just one quarter of the respondents (26%) say they are more likely to vote for such a party. Almost two in ten (19%) were unsure.
If the undecided were either excluded or distributed in the usual manner for polls, some 68% of voters are less likely to vote for a party that intended using taxpayer funds to support Gunns’ proposal.
A random sample size of 258 Tasmanian residents aged 18+ years from the 63 telephone district has an error margin of less than +/- 4.00% based on a 95% confidence intervals. This means that only one in twenty polls has an error larger than 4%.
The result mirrors numerous previous polls and will disappoint proponents and supporters of the mill since it demonstrates a continuing failure to gain a “social licence” for the project.
This result will also interest political parties attempting to shore up support for their candidates. The 63 telephone district covers the marginal seat of Bass, part of Lyons and a corner of Braddon.
Prepared by TAP Into A Better Tasmania
28 May 2010 SMH Business Day online poll
The Sydney Morning Herald Business Day conducted an online poll about the proposed pulp mill with three options to choose from. More than 1166 participants responded to the question, "With Gunns chairman John Gay quitting, what do you think should happen to the Tasmanian pulp mill plans?"
- Gunns should proceed as planned, subject to meeting government standards, 21%;
- Gunns should modify its plans to win approval from environmental groups, 14%;
- Gunns should drop its pulp mill plans, 65%.
8 August 2009 Galaxy poll on support for Gunns' planned pulp mill
The Greens commisioned Galaxy to poll 1100 Australians between 24 and 26 July, 2009. The following question was asked: "The logging company Gunns proposes to build a pulp mill in Tasmania's Tamar Valley. A substantial amount of woodchips being used in the mill would be sourced from Tasmania's native forests. Do you personally support or oppose the building of the pulp mill?"
- Strong suppport 3%
- Suppport 11%
- Opposed 32%
- Strongly opposed 42%
- Not sure or did not answer 12%
Total opposed 74%, total in favour 14%
15 – 16 June 2009 EMRS poll on foreign control of water, land and forests
800 adult Tasmanians were interviewed by telephone on Monday 15 and Tuesday 16, 2009. A single question was asked relating to government actions with respect to the proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill.
The planned Tamar Valley pulp mill would be the 4th largest in the world and will consume large amounts of water and 4 million tonnes of trees from plantations and State forests. Gunns is seeking money from foreign companies to fund the project.
The question asked - Should the government allow the planned pulp mill to go ahead if it results in foreign control of Tasmanian water, land and forests? Answers:
- Yes – the government should allow it 26% 211
- No – the government should not 65% (517)
- Unsure – 9% (72)
Results on a two answer preferred basis: yes = 29%, no = 71%. Download the EMRS pdf poll report to TAP from below.
TAP media release for the EMRS poll
Who is the government working for, foreign operatives or the Tasmanian public?
“Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke last week flagged using taxpayer subsidies to make it more attractive to foreign operatives to take control of Gunns’ planned pulp mill and Tasmania's resources” said TAP Into A Better Tasmania spokesman, Bob McMahon.
But a new state-wide EMRS poll shows two in every three Tasmanians don’t want the planned Tamar Valley pulp mill to go ahead because it will result in foreign operatives effectively controlling Tasmanian water, land and forests.
The poll was commissioned in mid-June by TAP Into a Better Tasmania. Of the 800 Tasmanians surveyed, 65% said “no” the government should not allow the pulp mill to go ahead if it results in foreign control, 26% said “yes”, and 9% were unsure.
Bob McMahon said, “The recent endorsement of Gunns’ pulp mill by the Federal Minister Tony Burke shows Labor is working for effective foreign control of our land, water and forests. But according to the latest EMRS poll, Tasmanians overwhelmingly don’t want it”.
“Labor should know better than to rely on those with a conflict of interest in Gunns and the CFMEU for advice to get behind a project that has failed to analyse the risks, failed to make a proper business case, and failed the best interests of Tasmanians,” Mr McMahon said.
"If this was a reputable business it would have attracted reputable finance. It did not. The ANZ, quickly followed by other Australian and foreign banks wanted nothing to do with it. That's why Gunns are trawling the world with cap in hand looking for a ‘Khemlani’. That's why the CFMEU dominated federal Labor are spruiking the mill on John Gay's behalf. What Minister Burke is doing is far more serious than what Rudd and Swan have been accused of over the car dealer John Grant affair," he continued.
15 January 2009, Essential Research poll on Environment Minister Peter Garrett's approvals for Gunns pulp mill.
Essential Research polled 1000 Australians from 6 to 11 January 2009 with the question - This week the Federal Government allowed the company Gunns Limited to begin construction of its proposed pulp mill in Northern Tasmania but withheld final approval until further environmental studies are completed on the release of waste into Bass Strait from the pulp mill. Do you agree or disagree that the construction of the pulp mill should be allowed to begin without the final approval in place and before all environmental conditions are met? Responses:
- Agree - 21%
- Disagree - 62%
- Don’t know - 17%
On a two answer preferred basis, agree - 25%, disagree - 75%.
Source The Wilderness Society
7 November 2008 EMRS poll on continuing support for the pulp mill
The Wilderness Society commissioned EMRS to survey 1000 householders by telephone between the 3 and 7 November 2008. Of these, 500 were from the South, 280 were from the North and North East and 220 were from the North West and West Coast regions.
All 1000 respondents were read the statement;
In June of this year, Premier Bartlett drew, what he called a “line in the sand” for Gunns’ pulp mill. He said that unless Gunns had gained “real finance” and achieved ‘real progress’, on construction of the mill by November 30 of this year, then government involvement in their project would end.
They were then asked the question;
If Gunns has not gained real finance and made real progress by November 30th, do you agree or disagree with the view that Premier Bartlett should stick by his line in the sand and end all government involvement in the project?
- Agree 73%
- Disagree 20%
- Unsure 4%
- It depends 3%.
Voting preferences of respondents were:
- Liberal Party; agree 62%, disagree 29%
- Labor Party; agree 70%, disagree 22%
- The Greens; agree 95%, disagree 3%
In June, Tasmanian Premier Bartlett extended the deadline for Gunns to commence construction of the mill. It was extended from the end of June to 30 November. If Gunns does not commence by this date, then the Tasmanian Government can terminate a ‘sovereign-risk agreement’ with Gunns. Mr Bartlett described the extended deadline for commencement of construction as a ‘line in the sand’ after which government support for the mill would end. Some of his comments that support this stance include:
ABC Radio National Breakfast - 28 May 2008
“There will be no more public money going into the pulp mill.”
“I would rule out the government owning or building such a pipeline.”
The Australian - 1 July 2008:
- "The Government has drawn the line in the sand," Mr Bartlett said.
- "The pulp mill project has divided the Tasmanian community significantly and we believe that the divisions should not last for too much longer." From November 30, government permits and involvement in the project would end unless Gunns had achieved "real" finance and "real progress" on construction.
- "The Tasmanian people have a right to say 'enough is enough'," he said.
ABC News- 2 July 2008
- "I have drawn a line in the sand that says if the proponent can't meet the requirements of the permit and gain finance and substantially commence the project by 30th of November this year then enough is enough".
- "The Tasmanian Government will no longer be involved in this project."
Progress by Gunns
In August 2008, Gunns made an announcement to the ASX that it was unlikely to have finance for the mill finalised before the first quarter of 2009 ‘with principal construction activities unlikely to commence before then. Subsequent developments in the international credit markets appear to have made it even more unlikely that Gunns will meet any of its deadlines.
End of government support
The TWS believes that an end to government support should entail:
- The clear instruction to Forestry Tasmania to take up the option to terminate the 20-year 1.5-million-tonnes-per-annum Wood Supply Agreement for the pulp mill;
- An iron clad guarantee that the Government would not be involved in securing Gunns land for the pipeline easement;
- Taking all possible steps to annul the permits issued by parliament as part of the approval under the Pulp Mill Assessment Act 2007;
- The termination of the $15-million sovereign-risk deal for the pulp mill;
- An end to the Tasmanian Government’s Pulp Mill Steering Committee.
Source The Wilderness Society
30 June 2008 GetUp state poll on further government funding of the pulp mill
GetUp commissioned EMRS to carry out a statewide poll of 1000 voters on the level of support for further state or federal government funding for the Gunns planned pulp mill. GetUp found 75 per cent of respondents didn't want any more taxpayer money spent on the mill. Opposition to further handouts was strong in both genders, all age groups and all regions of the state.
- Support 19%
- Oppose 75%
- Unsure 6%
Regional breakdown of results:
North and NE
- Support 21%
- Oppose 72%
- Unsure 7%
- Support 26%
- Oppose 69%
- Unsure 5%
- Support 14%
- Oppose 80%
- Unsure 6%
Source The Mercury
22 June 2008 GetUp national poll on support for Gunns planned pulp mill
GetUp commissioned Essential Research to carry out a national poll of 1000 Australians between 10-15 June 2008 on the level of support for Gunns planned pulp mill.
Results: 61% oppose the Gunns planned pulp mill. Of those voters supporting Labor, 65 per cent opposed the mill whilst 52% of Coalition voters opposed the mill.
Ed Coper of GetUp said it shows how much the public's concerns had been ignored in this issue.
20-28 March 2008 EMRS poll on government priorities
1000 Tasmanian adults were interviewed by telephone. Of these, 500 were from the South, 280 from the North and North East and 220 from the North West and West Coast regions.
Question 1: of five areas (listed below) which is the most important for the government to spend money?
(Please note that the results for this question that were posted on the website up to 19 May 08 had been incorrectly transcribed. The correct results from EMRS are listed below. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience and extend our thanks to those who reported the inconsistency. Admin.)
- Health Infrastructure and Services 69% (692)
- Education Infrastructure and Services 16% (162)
- Public Housing 8% (82)
- Water Reform 5% (53)
- Infrastructure specifically for the Pulp Mill 1% (11)
Question 2: of the 5 listed which is the least important for the Government to spend money? Results:
- Infrastructure specifically for the Pulp Mill 79% (794)
- Water Reform 11% (107)
- Public Housing 8% (82)
- Education Infrastructure and Services 1% (14)
- Health Infrastructure and Services 0% (3)
Only 11 respondents (1%) found the “infrastructure specifically for the Pulp mill” to be the most important area for the government to spend money. 69% found “health infrastructure and services” to be the most important. “Infrastructure specifically for the Pulp mill” was seen as the least important area for the government to spend money by over three quarters of respondents (79%).
What is revealed in these poll results is a huge gap between what the people polled see as funding priorities and what the Premier of Tasmania and the State Government are doing and plan to do with public monies. The Premier and the State Government have allocated public money to expedite and promote the Gunns pulp mill and are "examining" building a $60 million pipeline from the Trevallyn Dam to Long Reach to supply water to the pulp mill. The State and Federal Governments are spending $70 million on improvements to the East Tamar Highway.
At a time when essential services such as health, education, public housing are being run down the Government is essentially misappropriating public money to build Gunns their pulp mill.
These poll results show how unpopular this policy is with the Tasmanian people. TAP spokesman Bob McMahon said the "the Labor Party must change direction and to survive it must cut the leader loose. You can have either a pulp mill or a health system. You can't have both."
20-28 March 2008 EMRS poll on the ANZ bank funding for pulp mill
A survey of 1000 householders was conducted by EMRS between the 20th and 28th March 2008. Of these, 500 were from the South, 280 from the North and North East and 220 from the North West and West Coast regions.
Question: are you in favour of or against the ANZ bank funding the pulp mill? Responses:
- In Favour 29% (294)
- Against 45% (451)
- No Opinion 26% (255)
On a two answer preferred basis; in favour = 39%, against = 61%.
6 February 2008 George Town Council elector poll
The George Town Council was petitioned to hold an elector poll by the Tasmanian Electoral Commission on issues associated with the pulp mill in the Tamar Valley. Results were released on 6 February 2008. George Town electors were asked yes or no to the following questions and 63.97% (3329) returned their postal votes.
Question 1 Do you agree with:
a) the process used to assess the proposed pulp mill in the Tamar Valley?
- Yes 53.43%
- No 46.57%
b) the type of pulp manufacture proposed?
- Yes 55.50%
- No 44.50%
c) the location of a pulp mill of the proposed type in the Tamar Valley?
- Yes 54.41%
- No 45.59%
Question 2 Do you believe that the pulp mill will have a net adverse impact on the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the Tamar Valley and its residents?
- Yes 47.70%
- No 52.30%
Nearly half the residents of the George Town municipality (47.7%) believe that the pulp mill will have a net adverse impact on the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the Tamar Valley and its residents. Just over half of the respondents (52.3%) say they believe there will be no net adverse impact. More than one third (36.03%) had not made up their mind or were unwilling to express an opinion by voting.
This result will disappoint the proponents of the mill given all the efforts to sell the mill and its benefits to these residents. Continuous advertising of the mill benefits by Gunns and ongoing support by the State Government have fallen well short of securing a clear majority support.
The number of elector poll votes returned (3329) was almost the same as the number of votes cast (3319) at the George Town Council local government elections held in October 2007. The margin of 2.3% of voters in Question 2 corresponds to 77 votes and is almost the same as the margin in the October Mayor election result where pro-mill Mayor Burt scraped in by 110 votes against two anti-mill mayoral candidates.
The George Town electors appear firmly split down the middle.
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