Government support for coal-fired power plants

Feb 25, 2020

Q. Which of the following statements regarding the future of coal is closest to your view?

  Total Federal Voting Intention (Lower House)
  Labor Coalition Greens NET: Other
The government should be working to shut down mines and coal-fired power plants as soon as possible 32% 36% 21% 62% 27%
The government should let the coal mining industry and coal-fired power plants continue operating as long as they are profitable, but not subsidise them or support the expansion of the industry 47% 45% 52% 28% 50%
The government should subsidise coal-fired power plants to keep them going and provide financial support for new mines and other projects in the coal industry 21% 19% 27% 10% 22%
Base (n) 1,090 336 390 104 146
  • 47% of participants say that letting the coal mining industry and coal-fired power plants continue operating as long as they are profitable, but not subsidise them or support the expansion of the industry is closest to their view.
  • A third (32%) say working to shut down mines and coal-fired power plants as soon as possible is closest to their view, with Greens voters most likely to select that option (62%).
  • Coalition voters are most likely to say subsidising coal-fired power plants to keep them going and provide financial support for new mines and other projects in the coal industry, is closest to their view (27%).

Attitudes towards coal

Feb 25, 2020

Q. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements about coal?

  NET: Agree NET: Disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Unsure
Improvements in renewable energy will mean that burning coal to generate electricity will become less necessary 75% 14% 43% 32% 8% 6% 11%
Advances in technology and international action on climate change will mean coal becomes uneconomical to extract in the future 65% 18% 28% 36% 12% 6% 17%
If we’re serious about dealing with climate change, Australia needs to get out of coal as soon as possible 64% 24% 34% 29% 13% 11% 13%
Even if Australia stops exporting coal for electricity generation, it should still export coal for steel production 61% 19% 26% 36% 12% 7% 20%
Rather than digging it all up now, Australia should leave its coal resources in the ground to use when it becomes more valuable in the future 53% 29% 21% 33% 20% 8% 18%

 

NET: Agree   Age Federal Voting Intention (Lower House)
Total 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor Coalition Greens NET: Other
Improvements in renewable energy will mean that burning coal to generate electricity will become less necessary 75% 80% 76% 70% 82% 70% 83% 68%
Advances in technology and international action on climate change will mean coal becomes uneconomical to extract in the future 65% 74% 61% 61% 73% 60% 70% 53%
If we’re serious about dealing with climate change, Australia needs to get out of coal as soon as possible 64% 75% 65% 52% 72% 54% 87% 49%
Even if Australia stops exporting coal for electricity generation, it should still export coal for steel production 61% 61% 64% 59% 60% 72% 38% 59%
Rather than digging it all up now, Australia should leave its coal resources in the ground to use when it becomes more valuable in the future 53% 64% 53% 44% 57% 50% 56% 45%
Base (n) 1,090 341 374 375 336 390 104 146
  • Three-quarters of participants (75%) agree that improvements in renewable energy will mean that burning coal to generate electricity will become less necessary, 65% agree that advances in technology and international action on climate change will mean coal becomes uneconomical to extract in the future and 64% agree if we’re serious about dealing with climate change, Australia needs to get out of coal as soon as possible.
  • Participants aged 18-34, those with a university education and Greens or Labor voters are more likely to agree with these statements than those over 55, those with a secondary school education and Coalition or other voters (other minor party or independent candidate).
  • Coalition voters are most likely to agree that even if Australia stops exporting coal for electricity generation, it should still export coal for steel production (72%), compared to 38% of Greens voters.
  • Capital city residents are more likely to agree if we’re serious about dealing with climate change, Australia needs to get out of coal as soon as possible (67%) and rather than digging it all up now, Australia should leave its coal resources in the ground to use when it becomes more valuable in the future (56%); than non-capital city residents (56% and 47% respectively).

Angus Taylor and Sydney Lord Mayor

Dec 10, 2019

Q. Over the past few weeks the Opposition has been raising concern about Energy Minister Angus Taylor, in regards to false information which was critical of the Sydney Lord Mayor.

Which of the following best describes your perspective on the issue?

  Total Federal Voting Intention
Labor Coalition Greens NET: Other
The Prime Minister should have stood the Minister down from Cabinet 35% 47% 29% 42% 35%
The Prime Minster was right not to stand the Minister down from Cabinet 17% 11% 27% 13% 15%
I have not been following the issue 48% 42% 44% 45% 50%
Base (n) 1,035 339 356 106 116
  •  Almost half of participants have not been following the issue between Angus Taylor the Sydney Lord Mayor (48%).
  • Coalition voters are least likely to say that the PM should have stood the Minister down (29% versus 44% all other voters).

South Australian battery

Jul 18, 2017

Q. It was recently announced by the South Australian government that technology company Tesla will construct the “world’s largest battery” in South Australia. The battery will store wind energy to be used in high-demand periods, with the aim of increasing the reliability of the South Australian energy grid. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other
Total good idea 73%   79% 70% 82% 69%
Total bad idea 5%   1% 8% 1% 11%
Very good idea 42%   48% 40% 46% 39%
Good idea 31%   31% 30% 36% 30%
Neither god nor bad idea 14%   12% 14% 13% 14%
Bad idea 2%   1% 3% 1% 5%
Very bad idea 3%   <1% 5% 6%
Don’t know 8%   8% 7% 3% 6%

73% agree that the construction of the battery in South Australia is a good idea and 5% think it is a bad idea. Those most likely to think it is a good idea were Greens voters (82%), Labor voters (79%) and university educated (79%).

65% of South Australian respondents think it is a good idea, 8% think it is a bad idea and 22% think it is neither. (note – small sample)

Do we undervalue our public sector innovations?

Sep 11, 2012


Nadine Flood questions whether governments take our science and other publicly funded breakthroughs for granted.

The CSIRO is one of Australia’s most respected institutions. The Bureau of Meteorology is crucial in times of impending climate crisis. They are also part of the public service. And though their specialty is science, other areas of the public sector are also responsible for innovation — from agricultural land use to new ways of fighting tax evasion.

See a brief history of CSIRO achievements from wi-fi to dollar notes.

It’s a concept that is often lost at Budget time when governments keen to trim down costs often take a knife to the public sector. It’s easy pickings if the millions of dollars saved or made by innovations in technology, energy and health fail to be counted as assets.

The CPSU’s Nadine Flood tells 3Q how the CSIRO’s development of wi-fi technology transformed the world and brought $500 million into Australia through patent fees. Yet if the Opposition has its way, crucial funding of the sciences and other public sector innovation would be lost.
Further cuts on the grounds of “efficiency” will have long term effects on our ability to innovate.

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