Australia is country full of national park lovers, who favour nature protection over development.
New national polling confirms that the vast majority of Australians do not want to see prime protected areas like National Parks compromised by commercial or large-scale development. Research undertaken by National Parks Australia Council, a coalition of state-based conservation groups, shows just how protective Australians are of our national parks and reserves.
Of the 1,122 Australians we surveyed, the results were unequivocal, with 91% agreeing national parks and conservation areas are critical to protect nature from resource extraction (including logging and mining), and 78% saying they did not support any development in parks and protected areas at all. There was support for small scale projects that help people enjoy nature such as public toilets, visitor centres, and interpretation areas.
The poll was commissioned in response to the increasing trend of Federal and State governments proactively spruiking and funding development and commercial interests over nature protection in national parks.
- The importance of national parks to protect nature
- 89% of Australians agree that national parks are one of the best ways to protect nature in Australia
- 91% agree that national parks and conservation areas are desirable to protect nature from resource extraction including logging, mining and fishing
- Protecting nature and wildlife for current and future generations, and for wildlife’s intrinsic value topped the list of the most important benefits of national parks and conservation areas for Australians
- Development and commercialisation in parks
- 78% of Australians support not having development in parks and protected areas
- 66% of Australians support development only in towns and areas adjacent to national parks
- 62% of Australians would be less likely to visit a national park if it had high impact commercial tours
- 77% of Australians say low impact tours would make them more likely to visit a national park
- 83% of Australians say they would be more likely to visit a national park with small scale development (public toilets, visitor centres, interpretation areas).
- Protection of nature, saving threatened species, and quiet enjoyment of nature top the list of importance for national parks and conservation areas to Australians
- Increase in government funding
- 85% of Australians support an increase in funding for national park management
- 83% of Australians support an increase in funding for national park staff and rangers
- Voting preferences
- Active prioritisation and advocacy for national parks would make half of Australians more likely to vote for their local member of parliament
- Regional Australians are five percentage points more likely to vote for their local member of parliament if they actively prioritised or advocated national parks
- Global commitments
- 87% of Australians support Federal, State and Territory governments signing up to protect at least 30% of the planet’s land and sea by 2030
Polling was conducted by Lonergan Research in accordance with the ISO 20252 standard. Lonergan Research surveyed 1,122 Australians aged 18+ across all states and territories. The research was commissioned by National Parks Australia Council (NPAC and conducted by Lonergan Research in accordance with the ISO 20252 standard. Lonergan Research surveyed 1,122 Australians aged 18+. Surveys were distributed throughout Australia including both capital city and non-capital city areas. The survey was conducted online amongst members of a permission-based panel, between 5 and 9 January 2022. After interviewing, data was weighted to the latest population estimates sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.