Media Releases | 28th Jun, 2016

Strong support for phasing out polluting coal plants in Victoria’s key marginal seats​

Three of Victoria’s most marginal federal electorates are on a knife-edge, with voters in all three seats showing strong support for government to start retiring coal-burning power stations, according to polling commissioned by Environment Victoria and conducted by ReachTEL.

Over 600 voters were polled in each of the Victorian electorates of Deakin (around Ringwood), Dunkley (around Frankston) and Corangamite (covering southern Geelong and western districts), covering climate and energy issues.

Polling summary:

  • Around two thirds of voters think governments should speed up the transition from coal power to renewable energy
  • 70% support the phase-out of coal-burning power stations as part of a responsible policy on global warming
  • 77% believe Australia’s dirtiest power station, Hazelwood, should be phased out in the next few years, provided workers and the community are supported
  • The ALP has a smaller than expected lead over the Coalition on perception that they are better at dealing with global warming (approx. 53-47)
  • 44% are ‘very concerned’ about global warming, and overall concern is at 78%

Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager Dr Nicholas Aberle today said:“This polling shows that three of Victoria’s most marginal seats are extremely tight this federal election and could go to either major party.“Four out of five respondents in Victoria’s marginal seats reported being concerned about global warming, which is hardly surprising given the string of extreme weather events and broken records in recent months.

“It’s common knowledge that people strongly support renewable energy. It’s now clear there’s also wide-spread support for governments to retire coal-burning power stations – the biggest source of climate pollution in the country – starting in the next term of government.

“Politicians have been tip-toeing around this issue, but there is clearly public support to start phasing out coal power stations as part of a comprehensive plan to deal with climate change.

“Climate change has been a key issue throughout the election campaign, so it is surprising that many voters don’t appear to recognise the difference between the ALP and the Coalition on climate.

“The Greens have a timeline for phasing out the oldest and dirtiest power stations. Labor has said it will start the phase-out, but is yet to outline a clear timeframe. By contrast, the Coalition has nothing in place to deal with pollution from coal-burning power stations. Labor also has much stronger targets than the Coalition on both renewable energy and cutting climate pollution.

“At the moment, Malcolm Turnbull and Greg Hunt are simply asking us to trust them that they’ll do something good on climate change after the election, if they can get it through their party. With the climate emergency we face right now and the concern people have, voters deserve more than such uncertain platitudes.

“If the Coalition is returned to office, their promised review of climate policies must include plans to phase out coal power. It’s the only way we can meet our commitments under the Paris climate agreement, and a planned phase-out is better for the energy market and consumers.

“Both analysts and the energy industry itself are saying we need a planned phase-out of coal rather than letting it happen chaotically. Last week both AGL and EnergyAustralia called for a plan for the orderly closure of coal-burning power stations. It’s time for governments to step up and drive this process.”

For detailed polling data, click to download:




For interview and further comment:

Dr Nicholas Aberle, Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager,
DIRECT: (03) 9341 8112 MOBILE: 0402 512 121