In regard to the claim that “nine out of ten people are against the proposed Tecoma McDonald’s development” the No McDonald’s in the Dandenong Ranges (NMITDR) group stand by this claim.
Most survey organisations determine a sample size and extrapolate the findings to determine an indicative result. Typically organisations like NewsPol may only survey 1500 people for a Federal election result even though the total of number voters is in the millions. Such a survey normally gives a margin of error of 2%. Obviously the larger the sample size the more accurate the result.
After last year’s VCAT result McDonalds’ PR Spokesperson Skye Oxenham made several claims in the media stating “although a small vocal minority of people are against the project the vast majority of the community are supportive” NMITDR’s opinion was this was at best poor and inaccurate PR or at worst a terrible corporate lie. So as to determine accurate support for the project we first asked McDonald’s to show us what this claim was based on. They told us it was based on their own survey of which they would not share nor had they bothered to present it at VCAT. Based on this we decided to conduct a survey with the highest sample possible.
So over two weeks in late November early December last year we had teams of pollsters knock on every door in Tecoma and ask the simple question are you for or against the Tecoma McDonald’s. The sample was limited only to Tecoma and only to adults over 18. The total number of residents surveyed was 1230 people. The results broke down to 1084 against, 59 for and 85 unsure. We then used ABS guidelines to determine the calculation, which could be achieved in two ways. The first is to simply compare yes to no, and discount the unsure, by doing this the result becomes 94.8% against and 5.2% for. If we factor in the unsure then the result becomes 88.2% against, 4.8% for and 7% unsure. Splitting the difference of the result, the claim on nine out of ten stands and based on the very high sample size we are confident of the accuracy
Some important further points, if you claim you were not surveyed you are either a minor, not living in Tecoma or not home. If you were not home two further attempts were made to contact you. Furthemore names and signatures were taken of those who said no, this data was given and accepted as valid by Victorian parliamentarians as petitioned in the Lower House late last year. A summary of the sample has been provided to all media outlets, hence why the claim is repeated widely in the media. A detailed and audited version was supplied to McDonald’s at mediation back in April. At that meeting McDonald’s agreed to supply their survey results, to date we have seen nothing from them. It is also worth pointing out that since receiving our survey data McDonald’s no longer claim majority support for this project in Tecoma.