The following are excerpts from the 3 independent expert assessments of Council’s ‘survey’.
‘The ENTIRE research method and the sampling appear to be deeply flawed’
"Our review revealed there are significant flaws in the construction of the survey, inadequate explanation of
the complexities of land-use planning and its implications and in consequence, extensive confusion and
inconsistency in the response to the questions posed by the survey.
In these circumstances it is difficult to comprehend how council could conclude that the survey output provides a reliable indication of community attitude to planning controls for the rural areas, let alone the community's vision for the future of rural areas in the shire.
The review concludes that the only reasonable course of action available to the council is to reject the output of the Hornsby Rural Lands Survey as a reliable indicator of community attitude to planning controls for rural areas, and the community's vision for the future of the rural areas in the shire".
'There are 3 significant and very basic flaws in the research, which render the results invalid for any
be made based on its findings.
1. Push-polling definition - 'where an individual or an organisation attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a survey'.
...it was not a survey, rather a political referendum (non-compulsory participation) in which the results will be biased in favour of the 'side' which has the greater resources to influence public opinion.
2. Sampling - the sampling was designed by council. Sample design is a highly specialised skill and to ensure objectivity and accuracy, must be designed by an independent third party who is professionally qualified to construct statistical samples.
....the sample for the study is not representative of the population and its various interest groups.
3. The questionnaire itself was confusing .... A study of the results shows a large number of contradictions which call into question respondents understanding of the questions being asked.
Therefore, this survey is not a reliable indicator of community attitudes to rezoning issues and should not be used to validate any decisions by the Hornsby Shire Council on re-zoning of rural lands.