Australians have given the thumbs down to Australia's environmental protection in a new survey, which shows a high level of scepticism about the Federal Government's commitment to protecting nature.

Key points:

  • Survey of 3,000 Australians found 76 per cent want an environmental protection levy imposed on polluting companies
  • Six out of 10 say environmental protection should receive more funding
  • Environment budget has declined by 20 per cent since 2013, ACF says
The poll has revealed more than two thirds of Australian want a share of company tax spent directly on protecting the environment and more than 76 per cent want a levy imposed on polluting companies to protect reefs, rivers, forests, and wildlife.
Nearly 3,000 people were interviewed for the pre-budget sounding, conducted by market research company ReachTel for the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF).
Six out of 10 said protecting the environment should receive a bigger share of the federal budget, while nearly three quarters say they would support a political party with a policy for "a national plan where nature thrives".
Just 11 per cent thought that nature protection should receive less funding.
Yet spending on environmental programs is in decline and set for further cuts, with conservation groups arguing that protecting the environment is shouldering a disproportionate share of "budget repair".
The environment budget has declined by 20 per cent since the Coalition first came to office in 2013, according to analysis by the ACF, and is projected to decline by 38 per cent on 2013 levels through to 2019.
Over the same period, overall spending is projected to increase by 22 per cent.
The political leanings of those polled in its survey were broadly consistent with the findings of most voting intention surveys.
They translate to a two-party preferred result of 47 per cent Liberal, 53 per cent Labor.

Survey shows Federal Government 'out of touch'

The survey also showed four in 10 Australians thought the Government has "a plan to protect the reefs, rivers, forests, and wildlife for current and future generations".
This was outnumbered by 45 per cent of respondents who disagreed with that statement.
ACF chief executive Kelly O'Shannassy said the poll showed the Federal Government is "completely out of touch with what Australians expect their elected representatives to do".
"The only way for the Prime Minister to restore his credibility on environment and climate change is to reverse cuts and develop a comprehensive national plan to protect nature and move to clean energy," she said.
The survey results come in the wake of the independent State of the Environment report, released by the Turnbull Government in March.
It found that despite significant improvements on key benchmarks, resources for environmental management and protection were "insufficient".
The State of the Environment Report also said the nation lacks "an overarching national policy that establishes a clear vision for the protection and sustainable management of Australia's environment to the year 2050".
The office of Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg has been contacted for comment.