Curious telephone survey conducted in Yaroomba area.
Curious telephone survey conducted in Yaroomba area.

You've been robocalled: 68,000 targeted in mass poll

UPDATE: The Australian firm which was behind the polling surveys in the American presidential race was also behind the "mystery" poll on the Sunshine Coast.

Gravis Insights Australia confirmed it was behind the November 30 poll, which was believed to be largest on the Sunshine Coast.

A total of  67,945 calls were made across the region.

Who commissioned the extensive poll though will remain a mystery.

A Gravis spokesman said the identity of the person couldn't be revealed, however he was an "entrepreneur" who wasn't linked to a political party or developer.

"We are representing an independent entrepreneur who has no vested interest in Sunshine Coast at the moment," he said.

"He wanted to know more about the Sunshine Coast after reading in the Sunshine Coast Daily about the tourist numbers and the region's unprecedented year.

"He asked us to do the biggest poll we could, we believe it was the biggest done on the Sunshine Coast."

One thing the poll results made abundantly clear was the Sunshine Coast had no appetite for high-rise outside of the CBD.

"Without a doubt, people are not interested in that sort of development outside of a CBD area," the spokesman said.

He also said it wasn't true elderly were excluded from the poll as all who picked up their landline and agreed to take part were included.

The poll was conducted by automatic "robocalls".

"We are a polling company, we do polls around world and we adhere to strict marketing research protocol," the spokesman said.

The poll had a margin of error of around 2.1% with the results weighted by select demographics (age/gender).

The issues that mattered most to Sunshine Coast locals were:  Jobs (22%), road infrastructure (22%), public transport (17%) and environment (16%).

What issues matter most to you?

This poll ended on 17 December 2016.

Current Results

Jobs

28%

Road infrastructure

20%

Public transport

7%

Environment

42%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"The results showed that residents were split on the issue of new development with 41% of respondents either opposed or strongly opposed whilst 36% were either supportive or strongly supportive," the spokesman said.

"A total of 23% of local residents were non-committal on the issue.

"A whopping 75% said high rise developments should be confined to the CBD areas and specified tourist precincts."

The report also found that 68% of local residents didn't believe the community has enough input into developments that are approved.

Should high-rise developments be confined to the CBD?

This poll ended on 17 December 2016.

Current Results

Yes

69%

No

30%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

However, that was not an endorsement of local protest groups as the report also found that 54% of people did not believe such groups to be truly representative of the needs of the whole Sunshine Coast.

In regards to infrastructure 26% of people said the state government should fund more infrastructure in the region and 24% said the commonwealth should be funding such projects.

Whilst 17% of residents said both state and federal government should fund more infrastructure in the area.

EARLIER: Mystery surrounds who is behind a telephone survey which was conducted in the Yaroomba area.

The survey, which contacted residents in the area last week asked a series of question, some concerning what residents thought about high-rise developments.

Development Watch President Lyn Saxton said the way the questions were framed was misleading.

She says it is high-time people conducting telephone survey identified who the survey was on behalf of.

The survey asked a series of questions including:

  • Which party did you vote for in the last State Election?
  • What age group do you belong to?
  • Do you think council is doing a good job handling development on the Sunshine Coast?
  • Do you think council is being transparent?
  • Do you think that high-rise development should be limited to the CBD and tourism focus areas?

What made it even more peculiar was the fact the survey appeared to be targeting younger age groups.

Ms Saxton said if someone was in an "older age bracket" in response to their age group, they were advised "they had enough information for that age group and the survey ended".

Her particular concern was the "misleading" question concerning high-rises as it didn't give one an option to say tall buildings should only be limited to the CBD.

"This question seems to have been deliberately worded in order to trick people into answering 'yes' to the CBD when not realising it could mean 'yes' also to tourism precincts such as Sekisui," she said.

"Marketers know how to frame questions in order to get the answers they want. The question 'Should high-rises be limited to the CBD and tourism focus areas' is a biased question and is worthless because it does not give the person being surveyed the right to say yes to one and no to the other."

Sekisui House has plans to build a substantial development on its Yaroomba site with buildings taller than the height restrictions in the town plan.

But a Sekisui House spokeswoman said the development giant wasn't behind the survey.

The Sunshine Coast Council has also confirmed it was not behind the survey.

Project Urban, which has been behind numerous developments on the Sunshine Coast and is involved with Sekisui House advised it was not behind the survey.

The Sunshine Coast Business Council was also not responsible.

The survey was understood to have been conducted by Gravis Research.

The Daily has contacted Gravis for comment.

However previous attempts to find out who was behind a marketing survey was unsuccessful as the marketer has no obligation to reveal the information if the survey was commissioned by a private party.



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