UnionsACT Polling Shows Canberrans Support Job Creation from Light Rail

UnionsACT has found that Canberrans want to support the jobs created by the light rail infrastructure project, despite the negative campaign run by the ACT Liberals.

UnionsACT commissioned polling shows that, although opinion is divided on light rail, support dramatically increases when the job creation benefits are explained.

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The following quotes are attributable to Alex White, Secretary of UnionsACT:

“Over 3,500 new local jobs will be created by building light rail, with substantial flow-on job creation benefits for all regions of Canberra.

“The light rail line may run up Northbourne Avenue, but the people who will build it live throughout the ACT, from Tuggeranong and Woden to Belconnen.

“We know that working people want to support a major job creating project like light rail, especially after the cruel cuts and mass-sackings from the Federal Abbott Government.

“The first, most basic duty of a government is to ensure there are enough jobs for people who want to work.

“Creating secure jobs for Canberrans should not be a political football. What working people want from politicians is for them to help create jobs, not block job creation.

“What is clear is that Canberra needs jobs. The local community needs the secure, safe and well-paid jobs that light rail will create in this city.”

UnionsACT will announce a public campaign to support light rail jobs in late June.

Key Light Rail Facts

Unions are supporting the light rail as a major job creating infrastructure project.

  • Over 3,500 new jobs will be created by the light rail infrastructure project between 2016-18.
  • These jobs will mostly be made up of construction and engineering roles, including skilled trades.
  • Additional jobs will be created as a result of the economic stimulus effect, as workers on the project spend in their local communities across Canberra.
  • Both the construction and operation of light rail will benefit high school graduates and school-leavers through training and apprenticeship opportunities.
  • In addition to the jobs created directly by the construction of light rail, the entire project will result in long-term job creation along the rail corridor through the economic stimulus of new buildings and development.
  • UnionsACT is talking with the Capital Metro Authority, and the two consortia, to ensure that there is extensive local industry participation, in order to maximise local job creation benefits.
  • The Abbott Government has destroyed over 7,000 local public service jobs since the 2013 election, with many more jobs wrecked in social services and small businesses across Canberra.

Canberra needs urgent job creation, and light rail will create the economic and job stimulus that the ACT needs.

Polling results

The following quotes are attributable to Alex White, Secretary of UnionsACT:

“Our polling shows that Labor is on track to win the next election, with a majority of Canberrans saying they think we are heading in the right direction.

“It is clear that the ACT Liberals have been very successful in locking in their supporters against light rail, but the remainder of the population either support light rail or, in the case of undecided voters, are evenly split.

Polling firm ReachTel conducted opinion polling on the night of 28 May 2015 for UnionsACT. 1446 people were polled across the ACT.

Opposition to light rail is principally determined by political party support. This is especially the case for Liberal party supporters who are 79.3% opposed, which skews the ACT-wide average.

Amongst undecided voters, there is a dead even split of 42.0% supporting and opposed.

The polling shows:

  • 38.8% support light rail, 46.3% oppose, 14.9% undecided.
  • Support is highest amongst people aged 35-50.
  • When the job creation benefits are explained, support increases to 52.6%, with 38.6% of people more likely to support light rail’s job creation.

The opinion poll also looked at voting intentions for the 2016 ACT election.

  • Labor is on track to win the next election, with a primary vote of 37.4% compared to 32.2% for the Liberals.
  • Most Canberrans think the ACT is heading in the right direction, with 46.5% support, compared to 36.2% who think the ACT is heading in the wrong direction.
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