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Polling shows Majority of NSW residents want investment in renewables, not Eraring extension.

24th August, 2023 

New polling released today shows that 60% of NSW residents agree that the Minns Government should prioritise investment in renewable energy generation instead of keeping the Eraring coal-fired power station open beyond its scheduled closure date in 2025.

The new research comes as the Minns Government considers the future of the coal power station and whether it will fold to pressure to keep the power station open beyond its 2025 closure date, which could require hundreds of millions of dollars of public money annually to keep it operating. 

Dr Brad Smith, Acting-CEO of the Nature Conservation Council NSW said the polling clearly shows that the majority of NSW residents would not support any government decision to use public funds to prop up the coal power station. 

“Keeping Eraring open for longer would be a disaster for climate, emissions reduction and energy bills. The people of NSW know that investing in renewable energy, storage and transmission is the best way to secure our energy future, not shovelling public money into a coal-fired furnace.” 

Residents who voted Labor at the last State Election in May 2023, and helped Premier Chris Minns to secure government, were even more likely to prefer investment in new renewable energy generation, instead of keeping Eraring open. Just 9% of Labor voters would support the government extending the operating life of Eraring.

The research also showed NSW households are struggling with successive electricity price rises and skyrocketing cost of living and want governments to do more to help lower their electricity bills. 74% of respondents said the State Government was not doing enough to reduce the cost of their energy bills.

Red = Not enough | Yellow = Enough | Green = Too much

“This should be no brainer. We can invest in building renewable energy now, including expanding household solar and batteries, which will bring down bills and carbon emissions or plow hundreds of millions of dollars in public money into a polluting, expensive and unreliable coal power station that will lock in high prices for decades to come and make it near impossible for the Minns Government to achieve its climate targets. We cannot afford to keep Eraring open”. Dr Smith said.  

Notes on polling

This polling was conducted by Glow from 11-18 August 2023 with a nationally representative sample of n=1712 Australia residents aged 18-75. NSW sample was n=660.

* The attached graphs which breakdown the polling results may be blocked by certain email servers. Select display images in order to view the full results. 

Statement ends 

Media contact: Clancy Barnard 

E: [email protected]  Ph: 0438 869 332


Media note: NCC Acting CEO Brad Smith will join climate, finance and civil society groups to host a press conference at 9:15 in the NSW Parliament today ( Level 6 Media Room). Dr Smith will talk about the polling in more detail, and call on the Minns Government to rule out using public money to extend the life of Eraring coal fired power station. 

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