CORBELL NEEDS TO EXPLAIN INTERFERENCE IN TAXPAYER FUNDED LIGHT RAIL POLLING

Simon Corbell needs to explain to Canberrans why a $29,000 taxpayer funded poll on light rail was altered before it was conducted. It’s clear that the government interfered with key questions to get a more politically favourable result on the popularity of light rail, Shadow Minister for Transport Alistair Coe said today.

“Documents obtained by the Canberra Liberals under Freedom of Information (FOI) show in 2014 the government rejected questions from contracted firm Piazza Research, before writing its own loaded questions,” Mr Coe said.

“The rewritten questions were designed to spruik the government’s own message on light rail, which ultimately induced a more favourable response when respondents were asked if they supported light rail.

“It’s very disappointing that Simon Corbell and ACT Labor would so recklessly misuse taxpayers money as they scramble to create the facade that light rail is popular with Canberrans.

“If the government is so confident that light rail is worth the billion dollar price tag, why would this polling be necessary to begin with? Furthermore, why would they feel the need to change the questions?

“The fact is the Barr government spent tens of thousands of dollars for a polling firm to conduct research on light rail, only to change many of the questions to garner a better response.

“This attempt to skew polling results is typical of a government that fails to respect Canberrans views. Light rail needs to be taken to next October’s ACT Election for Canberrans to decide,” Mr Coe concluded.