The Sydney Morning Herald's assumptions about the WestConnex ReachTEL poll shows that the way you interpret data makes a huge difference to the conclusions that are drawn.
Our reading of the ReachTEL / Fairfax poll shows that less than 50% of those polled think WestConnex will be good for Sydney and that nearly 53% either don’t know, or think that this tollroad will be bad for Sydney.
The figures show that there’s a huge lack of information about WestConnex - 40% of those polled don’t know if the largest spend on transport infrastructure in Australia - $16.8billion, will be good for Sydney.
The NSW Government has spent millions on corporate advertising of WestConnex using multiple images of public transport and cycle paths. The fact that WestConnex is a very large series of expensive tunnels designed for private vehicle transport owned by private tollroad companies, has been concealed.
Figures like this show that there’s no great support for mega-tollroads in Sydney. The graph for the 18-34 age group, the over 65’s as well as female respondents, show that these groups are not sure about the value of WestConnex.
A ReachTEL survey was done in the federal seat of Parramatta earlier this year before the election and 64.5% of respondents indicated that they’d rather spend money on large public transport infrastructure with 62% saying they’d avoid the tolls on WestConnex and find other routes.
This earlier poll shows that when people understand what’s at stake with WestConnex, they are not in favour of it. They don’t want the extra tolls and they do want world class public transport.