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1318.3 - Qld Stats, Aug 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/08/2009   
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ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES AND BEHAVIOUR, QUEENSLAND, 2007-08

Introduction
Environmental issues
Personal electricity use
Personal water use
Waste collection and disposal
Environmental involvement
Further information



INTRODUCTION

This article presents information on people's views and practices on environmental issues, for people aged 18 years and over. The article provides information on environmental concerns, personal energy and water use, waste collection and disposal and environmental involvement, focusing on Queensland in particular. The article also presents data on factors that influence people to participate in environmental activities and energy and water conservation practices.


ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

Most Queensland people aged 18 years and over (82%) were concerned about the environment in 2007-08. The most common attitude to the condition of the natural environment was that it was neither good nor bad (42%). The same proportion of people described the condition of the natural environment as good (26%) as described it as bad (26%).

Just over one-half (53%) of Queenslanders thought that the natural environment was declining. In contrast, 15% thought the natural environment was improving and 25% thought the natural environment was staying the same.

Almost nine out of ten (88%) Queenslanders expressed concern about water shortages. Around three-quarters (72%) were concerned about climate change and nearly two-thirds (66%) expressed concern about the accumulation and disposal of household waste.

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES, Whether concerned, Queensland
Graph: Environmental Issues, Whether concerned, Queensland

PERSONAL ELECTRICITY USE

Most Queenslanders aged 18 and over (88%) reported that they took steps to limit their electricity use. Very little difference was reported between people living in Brisbane (87%) and those living in the rest of the state (88%).

Of the 380,400 persons who did not take steps to limit their electricity use, the main reasons given were that their electricity use was already low enough (32%) and that they had not thought about saving electricity (29%).

PERSONAL ELECTRICITY USE, Reasons do not take steps to limit use, Queensland

Graph: Personal Electricity Use, Reasons do not take steps to limit use, Queensland


While nearly half (47%) the people living in Queensland reported that they thought their personal electricity use had decreased in the 12 months prior to survey, a similar proportion (46%) reported that their personal electricity use had stayed the same. Less than one in ten (6.6%) persons reported an increase in personal electricity use.

Of the 202,100 persons who reported an increase in their personal use of electricity, the main reasons given were additional electrical appliances (39%) and lifestyle changes (35%).

Of the 1.45 million persons who reported a decrease in their personal electricity use, the most common reasons given were tried to conserve energy (81%) and purchased/used energy efficient electrical appliances (27%). A further 23% reported lifestyle changes as a reason for the decrease in their personal electricity use and for 20% the reason was cost saving.

Appliances

In the 12 months prior to the survey, nearly two-thirds (64%) of Queensland adults did not purchase any appliances, 22% purchased one appliance and 14% purchased more than one appliance.

Of the 1.09 million Queenslanders who purchased at least one appliance in the 12 months prior to survey, washing machines (42%) were the most commonly bought appliance, followed by refrigerators (41%), then air conditioners (29%).

The most important consideration when buying appliances were:
  • for washing machines: water efficiency (83%) followed by energy efficiency (75%) then purchase price (57%),
  • for refrigerators: purchase price (70%) followed by energy efficiency (65%),
  • for air conditioners: energy efficiency (73%) followed by purchase price (63%),
  • for dishwashers: water efficiency (79%) followed by energy efficiency (69%) then purchase price (58%),
  • for clothes dryers: purchase price (72%) followed by energy efficiency (70%),
  • for separate freezers: purchase price (73%) followed by energy efficiency (69%).

APPLIANCES, Selected factors in decision to buy, Queensland
Graph: Appliances, Selected factors in decision to buy, Queensland

PERSONAL WATER USE

In 2007-08, six out of ten (61%) Queensland people aged 18 and over reported that they thought their personal water use had decreased in the last 12 months, while over a third (34%) said their water use had stayed the same. Only 3.8% had thought their water use had increased. In Brisbane, 75% of adults reported a decrease in their water use compared with 48% in the rest of the state.

Of the 117,900 persons who reported an increase in water use, the main reasons given were lifestyle changes (34%) and did more household tasks that use water (22%). Increased water needs in the garden was reported as a reason for their increase in water use by 20% of adult Queenslanders.

PERSONAL WATER USE, Reasons for increase in use, Queensland
Graph: Personal Water Use, Reasons for increase in use, Queensland

Of the 1.86 million Queenslanders who reported a decrease in water use, the most common reasons given were tried to conserve water at home (78%) and water restrictions imposed/increased (48%). Using tank water instead of mains water, was the reason given for a decrease in water use by 18% of Queenslanders aged 18 years and over.

Nearly everyone in Brisbane (98%), believed water restrictions were in place in their area, compared with 56% of people in the rest of the state. Of these people who believed water restrictions were in place in their area, 71% in Brisbane and 40% in the rest of state reported that water restrictions had affected their personal water use.

Of the 1.31 million persons who reported that water restrictions affected their water use, the most common activities affected were watering the garden (74%) followed by washing vehicles (66%). Over half (58%) reported the activity of taking a shower/bath as being affected by water restrictions.
WASTE COLLECTION AND DISPOSAL

In 2007-08, 97% of Queenslanders reported having garbage collection services available, 88% reported recycling services and 21% garden waste collection services. In Brisbane less than half a per cent of adults reported having no waste collection services compared with 5.2% in the rest of the state.

Of those people with waste collection services, 83% expressed satisfaction with their services. Of the 406,500 persons who reported dissatisfaction with waste collection services, the most common reasons given were inadequate or no recycling services (53%) and inadequate or no service for disposing of other waste materials (32%). A further 13% reported being dissatisfied with the frequency of waste collection.

Most Queenslanders (80%) sorted recyclable from non-recyclable waste materials all or most of the time. In Brisbane, 5.9% of adults reported rarely or never sorting recyclable from non-recyclable waste materials compared with 17% in the rest of the state.

WASTE COLLECTION AND DISPOSAL, Recycling, Queensland
Graph: Waste collection and disposal, Recycling, Queensland

Nearly one-third (30%) of Queenslanders aged 18 years and over composted or recycled kitchen or food waste all or most of the time. More than half the population (56%), however, did this rarely or never.

Over one-third (37%) of Queenslanders aged 18 years and over composted or recycled garden waste all or most of the time and 34% rarely or never composted or recycled garden waste.

While 36% used green or reusable shopping bags all or most of the time, nearly one-third (30%) of adults rarely or never used them.
ENVIRONMENTAL INVOLVEMENT

More than a million Queensland adults (36%) had some form of environmental involvement in the 12 months prior to survey. The most commonly reported environmental activity undertaken was signing a petition relating to environmental issues (19%) followed by donating money to help protect the environment (16%). One in ten (10%) people expressed concern about the environment through a letter, email or by talking to responsible authorities.

ENVIRONMENTAL INVOLVEMENT, Environmental activities involved in during the last 12 months, Queensland
FURTHER INFORMATION

Environmental Views and Behaviour, 2007-08 (2nd issue) (cat. no. 4626.0.55.001)
Environmental Issues: Energy Use and Conservation, Australia, Mar 2008 (cat. no. 4602.0.55.001)

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