An exclusive poll of voters in some of the State’s most marginal seats has found the community is divided over the Perth foreshore development project.
A West Australian Opinion Polls (WAOP) telephone poll of 400 voters was undertaken in the electorates of Forestfield, Riverton, Wanneroo and Mount Lawley in the fortnight leading up to the State Budget. The research asked respondents whether they supported or opposed the WA State Government’s foreshore development.
The poll found 48.6 per cent of voters support the development, with 40.3 per cent indicating they opposed the project. However, the poll also found feelings were much stronger among those who opposed the development, with 21.1 per cent strongly opposed, compared to 14.3 per cent strongly in favour.
The State Government will be pleased that a clear majority (61.5 per cent) of young people (18- 29 years) support the project. However, of concern to the State Government, will be the finding that marginally more swinging voters oppose the development (44 per cent) than support it (43 per cent).
This apparent lack of passion for the project could be behind Premier Colin Barnett’s announcement of a name for the development, which is likely to make it project more tangible to voters. However, both the decision making process and the proposed name itself have proven to be contentious, which could divide community opinion further.
Respondents who indicated support or opposition for the project were also asked to nominate reasons for their position. Major reasons given by those who support the development were that it would revitalise the city and make it more vibrant (18.4 per cent of sample), that it would be good for tourism (14.6 per cent) and that families would use it more (9.3 per cent).
People opposed to the project cited the loss of public space (16.5 per cent of sample), the cost of the project (13.5 per cent) and traffic problems with the development (7.7 per cent). Concerns were also raised about the amount of high-rise development planned (4.9 per cent) and the project’s overall design (4.9 per cent).