Environment East Gippsland commissioned an opinion poll of East Gippsland residents in 2002. We believe the results, if a poll was to be carried out now, would show much greater support for forest protection.
After years of the Goolengook blockade, in 2002 the government decided to send in the forces to break up the protest and the ‘fort’ that was built across the road. This was the time when the conflict reached a peak, the community was bombarded with aggressive media hype targeting environmentalists and painting them as dangerous terrorists, dirty hippes and drug takers.It was also tearing apart many members of the community and DSE who were forced to take part in the policing of the bust up. Environment East Gippsland contarcted NCS pearson market research to carry out an opinion poll on our behalf. This was risky and we’d have been happy if it showed 50% of East Gippslanders were opposed to the destruction of old growth forests. In fact it was much higher. Below are the rough outcomes of poll in April ‘02.
Do you think the RFA’s have worked? (simplified question)
Yes 15%, No 50%, Don’t know 35%
Do you think logging is well managed?
Yes 39% No 41% Don’t know 20%
Did the govt do the right thing to log Goolengook?
Yes 34%, No 35%, Don’t know 31%
What has more potential to provide long term secure jobs?
Logging 29%, Tourism 59%, Don’t know 12%
Do you think old growth should be clearfell logged?
Yes 23%, No 67%, Don’t know 11%
Is the level of woodchipping …
Just right 25%, Too low 6%, Too high 46% Don’t know 22%
If there were alternatives to logging native forests (like plantations), should the industry be moved out of native forest?
Yes 70%, No 24%, 6% Don’t know
26 of the 400 interviewed were in the logging industry. 13 were in tourism.
24% of interviewees were over 65!
For the full opinion poll results (Word .doc) click here