New polling: Renewables popular with Coalition voters, exposing gulf with Guy opposition

MEDIA RELEASE: April 10 2017

Polling finds renewables popular with Coalition voters, sign the Guy opposition should review climate and energy policies

New polling commissioned by The Australia Institute exposes a gulf between the Victorian opposition’s climate change/energy policies and the views of its base.

Despite a massive 72 percent of Coalition voters backing state renewable energy schemes such as the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET), the opposition has vowed to scrap the target if elected in 2018.

Friends of the Earth say the glaring gap gives the Matthew Guy opposition impetus to review its stance on climate and energy policy.

“If Matthew Guy respects the views of Coalition voters he would order a review of climate change and energy policies to ensure they are in alignment with party backers before the 2018 election year” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth’s Act on Climate coordinator.

Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson says the enthusiastic support for renewables amongst Liberal and National party comes as no surprise.

“It’s no surprise Coalition voters are so enthusiastic about the Victorian Renewable Energy Target. The scheme will create 11,000 jobs and attract billions worth of investment to regional Victoria” said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson.

The VRET is set to go through state parliament in the coming months but is already having a positive impact, with projects like West Wind’s Lal Lal wind farm getting the green light and Keppel Prince employing an additional 50 workers to manufacture wind energy components in Portland.

“Key crossbenchers Fiona Patten and James Purcell have so far demonstrated their support for renewable energy in parliament by backing amendments to the Victorian Climate Change Act,” added Simons.

Friends of the Earth expect crossbench MPs to back legislation that enshrines Victorian Renewable Energy Targets in parliament. The group will be tracking the issue closely.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

The polling by The Australia Institute asked a representative sample of 1420 Australians their view on energy policy.

  • A total 77% of Australians support an increase to renewable energy targets in their state, including 72% of Coalition voters.
  • 55% of Coalition voters believe the shift to renewable energy is too slow.
  • Email opposition leader Matthew Guy and shadow renewables minister David Southwick to push them to review their current stance against the VRET.
  • Make a donation to Yes 2 Renewables so we can act as a watchdog on renewable energy policy in Vic. We’re proud of our campaign on the VRET. With your support we’ll secure it.

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