AUSTRALIANS remain sceptical about the role of the federal government’s carbon tax in addressing climate change, with only one in four believing the tax will achieve its objective.
New research shows that more than 90 per cent of Australians believe climate change is a real phenomenon and are looking for government solutions, but 53 per cent said the tax would have a negative impact on the Australian economy.
The report, by the Ipsos Social Research Institute, also found that 53 per cent of respondents expected their household would be worse off as a result of the carbon tax, which takes effect on July 1.
The report’s author, Jennifer Brook, said water-related concerns remained prevalent with Australians in the annual study.
“There has been a significant decline in the proportion of Australians nominating water-related issues,” Ms Brook said.
“Water availability and wastage, selected by three quarters (75 per cent) of respondents in 2010, was chosen by 58 per cent in 2011.”
Ms Brook said 50 per cent of Australians were optimistic that a “clean energy future in Australia” would provide new job opportunities.
Ballarat climate change campaigner and spokesperson for 100% Renewables Andrew Bray blamed federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott for the study’s findings.
“The toxic campaign Tony Abbott has waged against the carbon price seems to have left a number of people feeling powerless and that doing something about climate change is just too hard.
“Once the carbon price comes into effect on July 1 we will start to get an idea of how it will play out.
“Treasury modelling suggests that most people will be either unaffected or better off after July 1 and I think we can expect some of the heat to go out of the debate,” Mr Bray said.