RESULTS from an Australian Conservation Foundation survey shows more people than ever want the federal government to take more action on climate change.
The ACF survey was taken by more than 15,000 voting-age Australians and addressed how important climate action was when people considered their vote, if the government should do more on climate change and the support people have for fossil fuels.
Results were correlated by federal electoral boundaries with 71 per cent of Bendigo voters saying they wanted the federal government to do more on climate change. In the Mallee that number was 59 per cent.
Across the country, the survey found a majority of voters in each electorate believed that the federal government could do more to tackle global warming.
Sixty-eight per cent of voters said climate consideration was important to their vote along with 56 in Mallee.
Support of fossil fuels in the energy mix was at 26 per cent in Bendigo and 31 in the Mallee.
ACF Bendigo community group member Julie Flynn said the survey results were encouraging.
"Particularly because it shows across the whole country, conservative voters as a whole want the Coalition Government to do more on climate action," she said. "The comment of them not doing enough seems to be a dominate belief even among conservative voters.
"It was surprising to hear the extent (of the want of action) and that it was the same across cities and regional areas. We often hear that people in cities are more worried (climate change) than people in the bush. This poll shows that's not the case."
Bendigo and District Environmental Council secretary and ACF member Wendy Radford said she believed more people were taking climate change seriously because they were seeing extreme weather events first hand.
"The bushfires from 2019 and 2020 gave Australians a real shock because they actually were the coming to life of scientist predictions," she said. "They were catastrophic climate events along with the warming of the world. I think people saw it really was happening in an undeniable way."
Ms Radford said she was also pleased to see more people supporting renewable energy over fossil fuels.
"I was pleased to see people talk about renewables but the most efficient way is to leave the forests alone," she said. "We have to leave forests alone and plant plantations for timber needs."
Bendigo Sustainability Group president Colin Lambie said the lack of climate change action from the government was disappointing given the clear message sent by the voters.
"When you look at the electorates, I'm pretty sure sure the majority, even in Scott Morrison's seat, want action on climate change. It's interesting how that is being ignored and disappointing, especially given the clear majority want action.
"My thinking is to take practical action. The Bendigo Sustainability Group's community power hub is rolling out solar rooftop projects to help organisations such as community sports clubs and not-for-profit organisations.
"For things like electric vehicles, we are about the slowest country in the world for that transition but it will be happening in a big way in next few years.
"There are lots of good things happening, it's just a pity the politicians have their head in sand and are stuck in 1950s and the way things used to be."
Ms Flynn said as more people are taking notice about the need for climate change as more scientific bodies publish reports on the issue.
"Many (scientific) bodies are sounding alarms bells that we are running out of time," she said. "We know it has to be done and it has to be done quickly.
"There already are solar and wind farms all through regional areas of Australia. People are accepting of those technologies.
"My hope is people change their votes as a result of this survey. It seems to be only way we are going to get any decent action on climate change give how the Coalition Government has been last 20 years."
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