Labor leads in Eden-Monaro but voters will swing on post bushfire support for forest industries

An Eden-Monaro poll confirms bushfire recovery is a priority for voters, with 58 per cent of voters saying they are more likely to vote for a political party or candidate that stands for increased funding to help bushfire affected communities.

The uComms poll of 800 voters across Eden-Monaro conducted on Tuesday night was commissioned by the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) to highlight the issues and priorities facing forest industries, which are the biggest employer in regional Eden-Monaro and were hit hard by the Black Summer bushfires.

AFPA CEO Ross Hampton said the poll results showed that supporting the bushfire-affected forest industries in Eden-Monaro is a vote winner for the 4 July by-election. Forest industries are the largest single employer in regional Eden-Monaro, with more than 5000 voters working in the sector and generating more than $2 billion in annual economic activity.

“More than 58 per cent of those surveyed said post-fire support would make them more likely to support a candidate. This is a very strong result and carries a compelling message for all Parties,” Mr Hampton said.

“Forest industries in Eden-Monaro suffered devastating losses during Black summer. The Federal Government has made a welcome commitment of $15 million to help transport burnt timber to mills before it’s no longer usable, but clearly the community is expecting more.

“Eden-Monaro’s forest industries face years of rebuilding and urgent replanting, and mills face decades of reduced timber supply for which they will need Government support to retool mills and source unburnt logs from further away.”

Other findings from the poll were:
• With three weeks until polling day, Labor’s Kristy McBain ahead at 52 per cent, two party preferred (2PP) to the Liberals’ Fiona Kotvojs on 48 per cent 2PP.
• Eden-Monaro voters seem split on the effectiveness of the Government’s $688 million HomeBuilder stimulus package with 48 per cent believing it will be effective in stimulating the housing construction sector, while 43 per cent don’t think it will be effective.

Mr Hampton said, “There are clear messages for the Parties in these poll results. AFPA has identified several priority areas and job-creating initiatives which will help forest industries in Eden-Monaro through this difficult time. We will be briefing candidates on our industry requests document, starting with Liberal candidate Fiona Kotvojs at a roundtable in Tumut with forest industries leaders today,” Mr Hampton concluded.


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