Research commissioned by Veolia reveals that outside of the economy and cost of living, New South Wales voters are most concerned about the environment.
In a post-pandemic world, voters say environmental sustainability is a priority, and that they support investment in recycling and waste initiatives, to help prevent climate change – even if it means diverting funds from elsewhere.
Research shows that 75 per cent of people say waste management issues such as reducing waste, increasing recycling and minimising emissions, are of concern; while 67 per cent support diverting funds away from other key areas, to increase investment in waste management initiatives and infrastructure.
The NSW Government has set commitments to halve emissions, drive greater recycling, and adopt technology such as Energy-from-Waste (EfW) to reduce a reliance on landfills, by 2030. This aligns with Federal Government targets to recover 80 per cent of materials and reach net zero by 2050.
Veolia’s research reveals that voters are not aware of the government’s environmental agenda. – 3 per cent of people say they are ‘definitely aware’ of NSW climate policies and 4 per cent of people say they are aware of the transition to a circular economy.
When asked about globally proven technologies that allow for the shift away from landfilling, voters strongly supported it – 82 per cent say that NSW should invest in EfW technology.
Voters also want recycling and waste companies to play a greater advisory role on waste management initiatives.
Richard Kirkman, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director for Veolia Australia and New Zealand, said the NSW public have a sophisticated understanding of climate issues. “Numbers show that people want change and they support the investment needed to make it happen. This is fantastic news because their priorities already align with policies that preserve resources and protect biodiversity.
“Those voters who were less supportive of the green agenda were motivated by economic matters. These voters overwhelmingly support initiatives that focus on creating jobs, driving new industries, and stimulating growth.”