Most Important Roles of Government

Jan 23, 2012

Q. From the following list, what do you think are the three most important roles of the Federal Government? (Number from 1 to 3 where 1 is the most important, 2 the second most important, etc)

Most important Second Third Total
Delivering basic services like health and education 18% 27% 20% 65%
Managing the economy in uncertain economic times 20% 15% 14% 49%
Making the big decisions for the nations future 20% 12% 12% 44%
Ensuring that all Australians benefit from Australia’s wealth 13% 10% 11% 34%
Supporting Australian industries to provide jobs 8% 12% 12% 32%
Reducing government spending so money can be returned back to taxpayers 9% 8% 8% 25%
Investing in infrastructure including road rail and broadband 3% 7% 10% 20%
Providing support to the most disadvantaged 4% 4% 8% 16%
Don’t know 5% 5% 5% 5%

Respondents considered that the most important roles of the Federal Government were delivering basic services like health and hospitals (65%), managing the economy in uncertain economic times (49%) and making the big decisions for the nations future (44%).

The least important roles were providing support for the most disadvantaged (16%), investing in infrastructure including road rail and broadband (20%) and reducing government spending so money can be returned to taxpayers (25%).

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Party best to handle Issues

Jan 23, 2012

Q. Which party do you think is best to handle each of the following issues?

Labor Liberal Greens Don’t know
Making the big decisions for the nations future 28% 41% 5% 26%
Managing the economy in uncertain economic times 30% 44% 2% 24%
Delivering basic services like health and education 34% 36% 5% 25%
Investing in infrastructure including road rail and broadband 34% 36% 2% 28%
Supporting Australian industries to provide jobs 33% 39% 3% 25%
Reducing government spending so money can be returned back to taxpayers 21% 46% 3% 29%
Ensuring that all Australians benefit from Australia’s wealth 31% 34% 6% 29%
Providing support to the most disadvantaged 34% 27% 9% 29%

The Liberal Party was considered substantially better than Labor at making the big decisions for the nations future (41% to 28%), managing the economy in uncertain economic times (44%/30% ) and reducing Government spending so money can be retuned back to taxpayers (46%/21%).

They were also considered a little better at supporting Australian industries to provide jobs (39%/33%). The Labor Party was considered a little better at providing support to the most disadvantaged (34%/27%) and the two parties scored similarly on delivering basic services like health and education, investing in infrastructure including road rail and broadband and ensuring that all Australians benefit from Australia’s wealth.

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Jobs reform

Oct 3, 2011

Q. To what extent do you agree that the following measures will improve job creation and investment in Australia?

Total Agree Total Disagree Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know
Increasing the number of apprenticeships 88% 4% 38% 50% 4% 0% 7%
Giving incentives to companies that invest in research and development 79% 8% 26% 53% 7% 1% 12%
Boosting investment in renewable energy technologies 75% 11% 30% 45% 8% 3% 14%
Requiring companies to use Australian made steel in large infrastructure projects 73% 11% 27% 46% 9% 2% 15%
Implementing industrial relations changes that give more flexibility to business 57% 19% 13% 44% 14% 5% 24%
Bringing back tariffs on products imported from overseas 52% 29% 16% 36% 20% 9% 19%
Introducing industrial relations reforms to make it easier to hire and fire people 41% 41% 13% 28% 29% 12% 18%

Increasing the number of apprenticeships (88% total agree) is the most popular measure for improving job creation and investment in Australia, followed by giving incentives to companies that invest in research and development (79% total agree) and boosting investment in renewable energy technologies (75%).

Requiring companies to use Australian made steel in large infrastructure projects is also strongly endorsed by respondents (73% total agree).

The least popular measure is introducing industrial relations reforms to make it easier to hire and fire people (41% total disagree).   Asked with a different emphasis, there is significantly less opposition to the suggestion of implementing industrial relations changes that give more flexibility to business (19% total disagree).

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Jobs reform by Voting Intention

Oct 3, 2011

Q. To what extent do you agree that the following measures will improve job creation and investment in Australia?

Total Agree Total Agree – Labor Total Agree – Lib/Nat Total Agree- Greens
Increasing the number of apprenticeships 88% 89% 91% 87%
Giving incentives to companies that invest in research and development 79% 80% 83% 83%
Boosting investment in renewable energy technologies 75% 80% 71% 88%
Requiring companies to use Australian made steel in large infrastructure projects 73% 77% 77% 69%
Implementing industrial relations changes that give more flexibility to business 57% 45% 75% 41%
Bringing back tariffs on products imported from overseas 52% 52% 58% 40%
Introducing industrial relations reforms to make it easier to hire and fire people 41% 26% 65% 18%

Increasing the number of apprenticeships, giving incentives to companies that invest in research and development, and requiring companies to use Australia made steel in large infrastructure projects all receive a consistent level of endorsement across party lines.

Labor voters are more likely to agree with boosting investment in renewable energy technologies (80% total agree) as a measure to improve job creation and investment in Australia, as are Greens voters (88% total agree).

Labor voters are less likely to agree with implementing industrial relations changes that give more flexibility to business (45% total agree) and introducing industrial relations reforms to make it easier to hire and fire people (26% total agree).

Coalition voters are the most likely to agree with the industrial relations reforms, with 75% agreeing with implementing industrial relations changes that give more flexibility to business and 65% agreeing with introducing industrial relations reforms to make it easier to hire and fire people.

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Productivity

Sep 12, 2011

Q. Some business leaders have recently claimed that to increase productivity, industrial relations laws need to be changed to give businesses more flexibility around how they employ workers, including re-introducing individual contracts. Do you agree or disagree?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total agree 40% 27% 59% 17%
Total disagree 42% 61% 24% 61%
Strongly agree 11% 6% 19% 2%
Agree 29% 21% 40% 15%
Disagree 22% 29% 17% 23%
Strongly disagree 20% 32% 7% 38%
Don’t know 18% 11% 17% 21%

Opinions about the need for changes to industrial laws to increase productivity were divided. 40% agreed with the need to change IR laws and 42% disagreed. 61% of Labor voters and Greens voters disagreed, while 59% of Liberal/National voters agreed.

Those aged 35-54 tended to disagree (35% agree/47% disagree) while those aged under 35 (40%/34%) and 55+ (48%/42%) were more likely to agree. 46% of full-time workers disagreed and 43% agreed.

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Job security

Apr 4, 2011

Q. How concerned are you that you or some member of your immediate family will lose their job in the next year or so: very concerned, somewhat concerned, or not at all concerned?

16 Feb 09 27 Apr 09 8 Jun 09 5 Oct 09 18 Jan 10 29 Mar 10 28 Jun 10 18 Oct 10 4 April 11 Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total concerned 62% 67% 52% 49% 45% 39% 43% 40% 43% 39% 46% 42%
Very concerned 22% 24% 13% 14% 12% 10% 9% 11% 11% 9% 12% 7%
Somewhat concerned 40% 43% 39% 35% 33% 29% 34% 29% 32% 30% 34% 35%
Not at all concerned 29% 23% 35% 40% 40% 45% 38% 42% 43% 43% 44% 53%
Don’t know 4% 5% 6% 6% 8% 7% 12% 10% 8% 9% 4% 2%
No employees in the immediate family 5% 5% 8% 5% 8% 9% 7% 7% 7% 9% 5% 3%

43% were concerned that they or some member of their immediate family will lose their job in the next year or so and 43% were not at all concerned – a net negative movement of 2% since the last survey in June.

Those on higher incomes (40% concerned/54% not concerned for incomes of $1,600+) were more optimistic than those on lower incomes (46% concerned/40% not concerned for incomes of $600-$1,000).

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Job security

Jun 28, 2010

Q. How concerned are you that you or some member of your immediate family will lose their job in the next year or so: very concerned, somewhat concerned, or not at all concerned?

16 Feb 09 27 Apr 09 8 Jun 09 5 Oct 09 18 Jan 10 29 Mar 10 28 Jun 10
Total concerned 62% 67% 52% 49% 45% 39% 43%
Very concerned 22% 24% 13% 14% 12% 10% 9%
Somewhat concerned 40% 43% 39% 35% 33% 29% 34%
Not at all concerned 29% 23% 35% 40% 40% 45% 38%
Don’t know 4% 5% 6% 6% 8% 7% 12%
No employees in the immediate family 5% 5% 8% 5% 8% 9% 7%

43% were very or somewhat concerned that someone in their family might lose their job in the next year. This was 4% higher than the March result but lower than previous results over the last 12 months. There were no substantial differences by income. Comments »

Important Election Issues

May 10, 2010

Q8. Which are the three most important issues in deciding how you would vote at a Federal election? (Number from 1 to 3 where 1 is the most important, 2 the second most important, etc)

  One Two Three Total Total

25 Jan 10

Difference
Management of the economy 34% 18% 10% 62% 63% -1%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system  14% 20% 16% 50% 48% +2%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 8% 10% 11% 29% 33% -4%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 5% 8% 9% 22% 18% +4%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 3% 7% 9% 19% 23% -4%
Housing affordability 6% 5% 6% 17% 14% +3%
Controlling interest rates 5% 5% 6% 16% 15% +1%
Managing population growth 3% 4% 7% 14% *  
Protecting the environment 3% 5% 5% 13% 16% -3%
Political leadership 5% 3% 4% 12% 23% -11%
Addressing climate change 4% 4% 4% 12% 16% -4%
Fair immigration policies 3% 4% 3% 10% *  
A fair industrial relations system 2% 4% 3% 9% 10% -1%
Ensuring a quality water supply 2% 2% 3% 7% 12% -5%
Security and the war on terrorism 2% 2% 3% 7% 9% -2%

*Not asked in January 2010 poll

 62% of people surveyed rate management of the economy is one of their three most important issues, followed by 50% that rate ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system and 29% that rate Australian jobs and protection of local industries as one of their three most important issues.

 Only 9% rate a fair industrial relations system as one of their three most important issues and 7% rate security and the war on terrorism and ensuring a quality water supply. 

 The major change since the previous survey in January, was a drop in the importance of political leadership from 23% to 12%. Ensuring a fairer tax system has risen slightly from 18% to 22%. Comments »

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