University of Tasmania

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Ballot box infidelity : the political failure of environmentalism?

posted on 2023-05-26, 21:33 authored by Gates, SPA
This study seeks to discover why public opinion on such environmental issues as the logging of old growth forests and the proposed pulp mill in Tasmania is not reflected in voting behaviour. Depending on which survey one consults, somewhere between 50 and 90 per cent of Australians oppose current forestry practices in Tasmanian forests, although fewer than 1 in 8 of those people actually voted for the only party with the stated objective of changing those practices in the 2007 Federal Election. Conversely, 7 out of 8 people voted for a political party that advocated no change to the status quo. In regard to the Gunns proposed pulp mill, to be sited in the Tamar Valley, Tasmania, opinion polls demonstrated strong opposition to the mill right up to the 2007 Federal Election, but again, the one party with the stated objective of stopping the mill received on average only 10 per cent of the overall vote. The purpose of this study is to explain why voting behaviour does not more closely follow public opinion on such environmental issues. The study specifically examines the pulp mill controversy and the 2007 Federal Election, and utilises interview data obtained from a politically-astute cohort of Tasmanians, as measured by their active participation on one side or other of the pulp mill debate.


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  • Unpublished

Rights statement

Thesis (MEnvMgt)--University of Tasmania, 2009. Includes bibliographical references

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