Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens' Water spokesperson
The Property Council of Tasmania’s push poll appears to have been designed to back up the State Government takeover of TasWater. This style of polling, phrasing statements as questions, leads the respondent to the answer desired by the author, in this instance the Property Council.
The ReachTEL poll’s introductory questions pointed to performance measures which had no context provided, followed by the question of whether or not it was good enough.
Only the poll’s final questions and results around the State Government takeover were published on the Property Council’s snapshot. The initial leading questions about water quality and sewage spills, their attempt to skew the poll results toward the desired outcome, were not released publicly.
Despite being presented with those leading questions, only half the respondents were convinced that the TasWater takeover is necessary. The half opposed or unsure about the takeover represent a large section of the community who don’t buy the Liberals’ shallow argument.
Tasmanians are right to be uncertain or cynical, they haven’t been told why this should happen, how much it will really cost or how they State Government plan to roll it out in the timeframe they’ve claimed. A responsible government should provide the public with real details and modelling, especially when conducting a hostile takeover of a public entity.
The Liberals clinging to the Property Council’s push poll shows just how little support they have for their plan. Push polls are not the way to deal with this, providing the public with real information is.