New polling has revealed more than eight in ten Territorians remain opposed to fracking, with a backlash against political support for the controversial industry likely to influence the outcome of the upcoming election.
The survey, conducted Territory-wide by Mediareach, found a whopping 86 per cent of the 1264 residents questioned opposed fracking, with most poll respondents stating they were “strongly opposed”.
Just seven per cent of respondents said they strongly supported the fracking industry.
The results also reveal a high level of awareness over the threat fracking poses to water, with 67% of people saying the industry is a threat to water security, in-particular ground water.
Interestingly, the poll also revealed relatively low awareness of public spending on fracking (28 per cent aware), with 69 per cent saying they opposed government spending taxpayer funds subsidising the fracking industry.
Thirty-five per cent of people believed it was better to spend government money on renewables, while 23 per cent favoured manufacturing support, and 18 per cent supported public funds going towards health and education.
Only 6 per cent would choose to spend taxpayer dollars on fracking.
As well, the survey revealed huge support for renewable energy, with 62 per cent of people questioned saying they would be more likely to vote for a political candidate that supported investing in a renewable energy economy.
Protect Country Alliance spokesperson Graeme Sawyer said the survey results proved the Gunner Government’s pro-fracking spin hadn’t passed the pub test with NT voters, and it was time for a ban on fracking to be put in place.
“The people of the NT are much more aware of the risks associated with fracking than their politicians it seems,” he said.
“Politicians who support fracking obviously have not looked at the evidence but only listened to the gas industry and its vested interests.
“The Pepper Inquiry showed that the majority of NT residents did not support the fracking industry, and this latest polling has revealed that strong opposition to fracking remains very high.
“What’s also clear is that NT voters want political candidates who strongly support the renewable energy economy, not dirty old fossil fuels like fracked gas.
“Territory voters are also clearly opposed to their taxpayer dollars being spent on fracking and gas pipelines, while they believe the protection of our precious waterways should be a priority.
“Any candidates wanting to seriously contest the upcoming Territory election election must heed these results and immediately put in place policies that prevent polluting and expensive fracking from being rolled out across the Territory.”
The polling was conducted as an interactive voice response poll with phone numbers selected at random.
The survey was conducted on 17 June, and divided residents into being from Alice Springs, Darwin, Northern Suburbs, Palmerston, Rest of Territory, and Darwin Rural Area.