Saving endangered species, ending native logging and creating new national parks on land and sea have emerged as Victoria’s top election issues, according to a new statewide poll.
More than a third of Victorians say their vote would be influenced by saving endangered species and halting extinction (36%).
Three in 10 voters said ending indigenous logging would influence their vote.
The two issues topped the commuter rail loop (20%), the removal of level crossings (20%) and Covid restrictions (14%).
The poll of 1,000 voters was commissioned by the Victorian National Parks Association and conducted by independent research firm Lonergan Research.
This shows that support for existing and new national parks, as well as strong endangered species programs, is on the rise:
86% of Victorians say the state has a comprehensive network of national parks and conservation reserves on land and sea
83% supported all Victorian political parties with comprehensive policies, programs and laws to stop the extinction of local plants and animals
81.5% of Victorians specifically support the creation of marine national parks to protect habitats
Three-quarters of Victorians support the expansion and protection of national parks, including the Great Forest National Park in the Yarra Ranges (76%) and new parks in the mid-west such as Wombat Forest (75%) .
Almost two-thirds (64%) of Victorians support an end to native logging, with 29% strongly in favor
More than 2 in 3 Victorians think the best use of Victoria’s 3 million hectares of state forests is to protect wildlife, trees and nature.
Only 11% support indigenous logging
30% said their vote would be influenced by political announcements about an end to native logging, new national parks would strengthen endangered species law
Quotes attributable to Matt Ruchel, Executive Director of the Victorian National Parks Association:
“This poll shows that Victorians expect strong action on nature, which has not received enough political attention in Victorian elections so far,” said Matt Ruchel, director Executive of the Victorian National Parks Association.
“There seems to be a mismatch between public attitudes and government priorities when it comes to nature conservation.
“Native logging must end sooner rather than later, and the community expects policymakers to address the endangered species crisis and create new national parks.
“The cost of removing 2-3 level crossings is roughly equal to the total amount the Andrews Government has spent on our over 2,000 threatened species and habitats since 2014. The community clearly wants priority to be given to protection. naturally.”
Quotes attributable to Sarah Rees of The Great Forest National Park Initiative:
“It confirms that nature could influence the key seats in this election. Announcing policies to end logging, save species and create parks could boost voter support by 30%.
“Melbourne has a deficit of parks. There is too much pressure on existing parks, so we need new parks created east and west of Melbourne.
“It is clear that Victorians have a strong appetite for bush camping and hiking and want more short and long trails around Melbourne. First Nations groups must be at the forefront of this decision-making and management.
Quotes attributable to Shannon Hurley, VNPA nature conservation activist:
“Support for marine parks is very high. Marine national parks are highly protected areas that conserve unique marine habitats in their natural state and provide an insurance policy against environmental impacts.
“Victoria was a world leader when the network of marine parks and sanctuaries was established, but no new marine parks have been created for two decades.
“With just 5.3 per cent of Victoria’s coastal waters protected in no-take zones, Victoria now lags behind nearly every other jurisdiction in Australia.
“This is essential oversight given the increase in energy developments, including oil, gas, offshore wind and electricity, as well as the serious risks associated with climate change.”
November 16 marks the 20th anniversary of Victoria’s establishment of the world’s first highly protected network of national marine parks and sanctuaries. The iconic Twelve Apostles Marine National Park, Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park and Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park are among the 24 protected areas.
Read the full poll results here.
About the survey:
The research was commissioned by the Victoria National Parks Association and conducted by Lonergan Research in accordance with ISO 20252 and Australian Polling Council quality standards. Lonergan Research surveyed 1,000 Victorians aged 18 and over. Surveys were distributed across Victoria and conducted online among members of a permission-based panel, between Friday October 28 and Sunday November 6, 2022. After the interviews, the data was weighted according to latest population estimates from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. found at https://lonerganresearch.com.au/methodology-statements.
/Public release. This material from the original organization/authors may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors.