March 2014


What's big, doesn't exist and eats Tasmanian Premiers

The release of Mercury-commissioned ReachTEL polling about the proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill and its impact on state election voting seems a good time to write something I've been meaning to put up here for some time.  There's a view doing the rounds, among some of the green and gullible, that the last time this proposal was about, a huge body of credible polling showed very strong opposition to it.  As well as discussing the current poll, this article takes a little trip down memory lane and points out why we never knew as much about public views of the pulp mill as some of its more ardent opponents told us that we did.  It also includes a few of my own thoughts on the "issue" of the proposed pulp mill.

Anyway, here is the new pulp mill poll result:

I'm not totally at ease with the question design for this one.  I would have preferred "the proposed pulp mill", because the actual question design might load in favour of the assumption that the pulp mill is a real thing with very tangible prospects, which might in turn favour a "more likely" response.  A tiny percentage of respondents might not even realise this is about the former Gunns Bell Bay proposal, and might think it is about some other pulp mill; one that actually, er, is real.  So I think the question is just a teensy bit conducive to a positive response, but I've seen worse.  Much worse, in fact, as we're about to see. [Read More]

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