The results are in: Narrabri wants renewable energy
The North West Alliance and Lock the Gate conducted door-to-door surveys in Narrabri from July to September knocking on 2,300 doors and collecting survey responses from 840 people.
The results of the survey show overwhelming positivity in Narrabri towards renewable energy and considerable concern about coal seam gas.
- Asked if they support renewable energy as a way to provide long-term jobs for Narrabri 97% of people answered “yes!”
- Asked if they were in favour of the proposed 850 well coal seam gasfield in the Pilliga, only 28% of people said they were in favour.
- More than half, 52%, of people surveyed were opposed to the gasfield and 20% were unsure.
- 55% of the people surveyed said they were very or somewhat concerned about the gasfield and only 24% said they were not concerned.
Narrabri Shire is part of the New England Renewable Energy Precinct, set up by the NSW Government in 2010 to attract new investment. Two current solar energy projects are already proposed, but there could be many more jobs to come.
A recent report by the Institute for Sustainable Futures found renewable energy potential in Narrabri could see 622 megawatts of solar photovoltaic electricity and 175 megawatts of wind power capacity generated from the Shire. This would see Narrabri exporting affordable and abundant renewable energy to the national electricity market and create 500 permanent local jobs in operation and maintenance by 2030.
To develop this solar industry would use just 4% of the land required for the proposed Narrabri gasfield and allow our agricultural industries to continue flourishing.
The door-to-door surveys were conducted by community members, mostly volunteers. They were trained and briefed to collect all responses, regardless of whether people were for or against the gasfield.
From Adams Street to Zimmerman Street, we knocked on 2,307 doors and conducted surveys with 839 people. We left calling cards with those that were not home.
Surveyers introduced themselves as being volunteers for the North West Alliance, and asked adult householders if they would be willing to answer a survey of their attitudes towards renewable energy and coal seam gas.
Every household was asked the same three questions:
- Would you support renewable energy development as a way to provide long-term jobs and development for Narrabri? [Answers: Yes or No]
- How concerned are you concerned about the potential environmental, social and economic damage coal seam gas might bring to Narrabri? [Answers: very concerned, somewhat concerned, neither concerned or not concerned, not very concerned, or not at all concerned]
- Are in favour of the proposed 850 well coal seam gas field in the Pilliga and surrounding farmland? [Answers: Yes, No or Don’t know]
The results were recorded on survey sheets, collected and the data compiled.