According to newpaper reports, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) claims that coal seam gas (CSG) was a non-issue in the 7th September Federal Election in seats in places like the NSW Northern Rivers.
An exit poll was conducted by Crosby-Textor for APPEA in 20 seats. These included Page and Richmond in NSW and eight seats in Queensland. 400 people were polled spread evenly across the 20 seats. According to an article in the Clarence Valley's The Daily Examiner the poll "found natural gas scored zero per cent as an influencing factor, even when respondents were prompted."
Whatever the Crosby-Textor might say, the poll was scarcely a significant sample on which to base the assumptions about the attitudes in these 20 electorates. In the electorate of Page over 83,000 votes were cast and numbers in other electorates would have been similar.
The article went on to say that APPEA "also analysed the results in a number of seats where CSG development had been touted as a key election issue."
In APPEA's media release it was claimed that "Australians rejected (the) message" of those campaigning "heavily against gas extraction".
Their analysis of Page results was based on their claim that both the incumbent Labor MP (Janelle Saffin) and the Greens candidate (Desley Banks) campaigned against CSG and both had swings against them. They forgot to mention that the National candidate (Kevin Hogan) who won the seat, also took a strong stand against gas mining in the Page electorate - as did the rest of the minor candidates. So the claim that the swing reflected attitudes to gas mining are spurious. It is obviously another case of spin from the gas mining public relations machine.
Just where will these people go next with their propaganda as they attempt to manipulate public opinion ?
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