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Saturday, 14 July 2012

Marine parks popular with punters: polling (or is it?)

"THE move to establish the world's largest network of marine parks is the most popular decision the federal government has made since Julia Gillard became prime minister, new polling by Essential Research Suggests."

The polling was conducted by Essential Research, Essential Media was representing PEW and The Wilderness Society, Greenpeace as well as a few other environmental NGOs, and they also ran the campaign for the federal marine parks that this poll says 70% of Australians agree with, as well as participating in lobbing for at least some if not all of these groups.

Serious concerns have been raised with regarding to the level and adequacy of editorial disclosure in and around any pecuniary interest Essential Research may have with undertaking such polling

Paul Sheridan from Essential Research said that Essential Media and Essential Research are completely separate entities and that there was no undue influence or direction from Essential Media to conduct the polling into marine parks, and to his knowledge Essential Media no longer represented the USA based Pew Environmental Group or the Wilderness Society.However a quick look at Essential Media’s web page and at the top you can clearly see a tool bar titled Essential Research.

(PS if the picture is too small, a left mouse click on the picture should open it in a full screen.)

If you look at the governments Resister of Lobbyist under Essential Media Communications Pty Ltd, listed as a person or employee who conducts lobbing activities there is a Paul Sheridan listed at number 14 as Associated Director.
You will also note on this page under client details The Wilderness Society and PEW listed, also listed are Greenpeace, Environment Victoria, Conservation Council WA among others.


That page was edited on the 13th of July and now PEW and The Wilderness Society no longer appear.

Then we have on the Essential Media “Our Team” page, someone called Paul Sheridan

If we follow the link at the top of the page on
Essential Media, to Essential Research, we get to this page Essential Vision by Essential Media, which clearly has logos of both Essential Media and Essential Research displayed.

So what does Essential Media do? well this is straight of their web page “EMC is working with the Save Our Marine Life alliance to build public awareness and lobby the Federal Government to significantly increase protection.
Save Our Marine Life centres around an online hub, which channels supporters into actions like petitions, videos and an interactive flash marine survival game – ‘Unprotected Waters’.
Supporters can also follow developments on Twitter through campaign mascot Sandy the Seal.
Extensive research informed the framing and development of Save Our Marine Life – identifying the strong connection Australians feel with the ocean.
When this campaign started there was a low level of awareness about the south-west region,” said Client Manager Paul Sheridan.
“But we found people responded strongly to wanting to protect marine life that’s uniquely Australian – building that sense of connection to the region has underpinned our campaign strategy.”
Another Paul Sheridan as Client Manager of the Coral Sea campaign, now it’s quite possible that there a few Paul Sheridan’s in Essential Media and Essential Research.

And they do this by

Friday, July 13th, 2012
Marine parks popular in the polls

A Sydney-based polling company says the Gillard government’s most popular decision is the creation of marine parks.
Essential media says 70% of voters it surveyed approved of the move, ahead of increasing compulsory superannuation (69%) and the Gonski report on schools reform (68%).

The Essential Report is a weekly national, online poll conducted that samples the opinions of 1000+ Australians, drawn from a panel of more than 110,000. Results are post-weighted to match Australian Bureau of Statistics demographics data to ensure results are within a standard deviation.

“The federal government’s decision on marine parks is the single most popular decision it has made since Julia Gillard became Prime Minister. This decision ranks higher than the introduction of paid maternity leave, aged care reforms and increases in compulsory super payments,” Paul Sheridan from Essential Research said.
Really! we have a company being paid to run a campaign for marine parks for the “The Save Our Marine Life” PEW group, that conducts a survey showing that 70% of Australians support the governments marine park plan, but it doesn’t end there this company that was paid to run the marine park campaign as well as conducting the poll failed to disclose even one of the many conflicts of interest it had, then when asked about this issue, they deny that there is any connection between Essential Media and Essential Research.
It appears that there is a Paul Sheridan who is a Client Manager for Essential Media on the Save our marine life campaign as well as a Paul Sheridan who is listed as a lobbies for Essential Media, and a Paul Sheridan from Essential Research, who knows! there might even be a few more Paul Sheridan in one or both of these completely separate entities that have nothing to do with each other.

But wait there is more! (here are your stake knives)
Public backs marine parks: NSW must lift moratorium – Greens
Posted on 12 July 2012 by Cate
Greens MP and environment spokesperson Cate Faehrmann says new research showing how popular marine parks are demonstrates how out of touch the NSW Government’s marine parks moratorium is.

She joined the Greens after moving to Melbourne in 1996 to complete her degree at La Trobe University. First as an enthusiastic volunteer, then gradually as a professional media and policy adviser, Faehrmann began to work for the party. The T-shirts were exchanged for business suits. She came to Sydney, where her name had appeared on the Greens' Senate ticket, at the suggestion of her colleague and current member of the Legislative Council John Kaye.
In 2003, in the middle of the NSW state election campaign, Faehrmann met the love of her life, a fellow Greens adviser, Paul Sheridan. Many an ardent look must have been exchanged across the photocopier, but the pair kept their office romance secret until the election night party.
"Paul's my life partner and he's also a very calming influence - we balance each other out. We'll probably have a commitment ceremony at some stage when life allows. I have a lot of gay friends, and until they can access marriage I don't want to do something they can't do."
The couple live in Petersham.

Possibly another Paul Sheridan

and here we come full circle. So was this a poll or was this part of the marine park campaign?


  1. Wow, so many Paul Sheridan's, it must get confusing at Essential media and Essential research and Save the Coral Sea group and in the greens advisory with so many Paul Sheridan's on the cards. How may Paul Sheridan's will be invited to the commitment ceremony??????????? My guess is there will only be one there filling all the fore mentioned positions.

  2. It's almost like something out of Monty Python, where everyone in Australia is called Bruce. But, Monty Python is fun - this is deadly serious. A nice little inner circle or coterie, where the same names keep cropping up and supported by someone who appears to be personally close to one of the main players. Lot's of mutual back-scratching here.
    Great investigative skills by all involved in drafting this blog post.

  3. I believe there should be a royal commission into this affair. There are so many questionable affiliations, conflicts of interest and downright lies for this situation to be swept under the carpet and forgotten about.
    Personally, I have no problem with any person making a statement which they can prove, or reasonably believe is true. What I do have a problem with is, so many 'apparently' different people named Paul Sheridan. He/they should either put-up or shut-up.
    The people who are 'in bed' (figuratively speaking) with all the different Mr Paul Sheridan's, should also be required to disclose their affiliations. There is obviously something wrong here. The people of Australia have a right to know what the actual truth is.
    "If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it's probably not a piece of wood". Monty Python

  4. Well done Dan.

    Is there any depths these crooks will go too?? Why the need for such a "paper trail" if everything is 'above board"?? Not intended to be "Transparent" is it??

  5. Fiona Mackenzie15 July 2012 at 17:02

    Reading the profile of one of the jobs of one of the Paul Sheridans, I did not know that the people of the south-western region (not actually specified ) lacked awareness of their area and the marine life. I would like to see these surveys and who was surveyed. It is easy to prove anything one wishes with so-called statistics.
    It isn't just a concern for recreational fishers. It concerns all. It is obvious that recreational fishing is interested in sustainability and the environment. Once again we need thoughtful, scientific evidence as well as local information and input regarding best-use. At best, the value of such polls of the general public needs to be determined, let alone whether the polls truly existed!
    Thanks for the investigative journalism. Revealing and disturbing!

    Fiona Mackenzie, The Greens

    1. Thank you Fiona. You are a ray of sunshine in an otherwise very bleak Green outlook.

    2. Totally agree with Roy, and thank you Fiona for taking the time to not only read the blog but comment as well.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. This information was a collaboration of a few peoples great work.

  8. Why dont we see this info in mainstream media. There is so many thing wrong with this plan but with out education the majority of the public still believe we NEED marine parks. I too call for a royal commision but we cant even get a select commitee to look at it. With out this sort of BS hitting the mainstream we will be painted a redneck conspiracy theorists. I still think the Federal police should look into these NGO for fraudulantly claiming we NEED MPAs in waters already protected via fisheries management and threatened species legislation. Australians stand to loose BILLIONS of export dollars just so the American purse net industry (among others) can scoop up those fish out side of our EEZ

  9. This is outrages that a newspaper like the Herald Sun would publish a story without even checking the basic background, I don’t see any reporter listed on the original story, I be Paul Sheridan wrote the entire story himself, something has to be done about this so the mainstream media reports on this.



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