Community Impact Survey: April-May 2024

Australians voice significant distrust in renewable energy projects: urgent call to rethink renewables

A recent national community impact survey facilitated by Property Rights Australia (PRA) and the National Rational Energy Network (NREN) has revealed a staggering level of scepticism and dissatisfaction among rural and regional Australians towards the current implementation of renewable energy projects.

1) A Cry for Fairness and Transparency

The findings are resounding. An overwhelming 93% of respondents believe that the government has not acted in good faith in rolling out these renewable energy projects. This sentiment is echoed by nearly all who feel that government departments have failed to conduct open and transparent consultations, and an even larger portion assert that their concerns have been completely ignored. Adding to this mistrust, 76% of respondents reported feeling pressured by energy companies to allow access to their private properties, with a mere 3% believing that these companies have acted with integrity.

2) Communities Left Behind in the Rush to Renewable Energy

The survey respondents expressed deep cynicism about the touted benefits of renewable energy. They criticised the government’s handling of the transition to clean energy, describing it as rushed and lacking in genuine community consultation. The perceived environmental and social impacts are significant, with most doubting that the government has fully considered the environmental repercussions and a similar number believing that the impacts on families and rural communities have been overlooked.

3) Economic and Health Strains Weigh Heavily

Economic concerns are at the forefront of these communities’ minds. A significant 80% of respondents believe that renewable energy projects are driving up electricity prices, while many feel these developments are exacerbating the cost of living pressures. Alarmingly, many respondents reported adverse health and social effects, including difficulties in focusing, feelings of isolation, and increased irritability. An astonishing 73% admitted to feeling emotional over trivial issues, highlighting the stress and strain these projects could be placing on rural populations.

To rebuild trust and ensure a successful energy transition, it is crucial to address these communities’ concerns genuinely and thoroughly.

4) Survey Data

4.1) Media Release_22 May 2024 Final

4.2) Community Impact Survey_Final Report 2024

4.3) Survey Demographics_National

4.4) Survey Statements 1 to 8_National

4.5) Survey Statements 1 to 8_State Breakdown

4.6) Survey Statements 9 and 10_National

4.7) Survey Statements 9 and 10_State Breakdown

4.8) Health and Social Implications

4.9) Survey Themes and Sub-Themes