Government Decisions and Policies

Aug 29, 2011

Q. Thinking about what the Labor Government has done over the last few years, do you approve or disapprove of the following Government actions?

Total approve Total disapprove Strongly approve Approve Disapprove Strongly disapprove Don’t know
Increased funding of health services 89% 5% 42% 47% 3% 2% 6%
Increasing the age pension 78% 14% 34% 44% 8% 6% 8%
Increasing superannuation to 12% 75% 13% 28% 47% 9% 4% 12%
Managing the economy to keep unemployment and interest rates low 70% 21% 21% 49% 12% 9% 10%
Spending on new school buildings 68% 24% 19% 49% 15% 9% 8%
Introducing a national disability insurance scheme 63% 13% 18% 45% 9% 4% 24%
Stimulus spending to tackle the GFC 61% 28% 21% 40% 15% 13% 11%
Paid parental leave 60% 30% 19% 41% 17% 13% 10%
Introducing a tax on large profits of mining companies 58% 29% 27% 31% 16% 13% 13%
Building the NBN (National Broadband Network) 54% 34% 19% 35% 17% 17% 12%
Stopping live cattle exports until welfare concerns were addressed 53% 34% 24% 29% 17% 17% 12%
Abolished WorkChoices 51% 33% 23% 28% 21% 12% 16%
Sending asylum seekers to Malaysia 39% 45% 17% 22% 20% 25% 16%
Introducing a carbon tax to tackle climate change 33% 53% 15% 18% 14% 39% 14%

Government decisions and policies with highest approval were increased funding of health services (89% approve), increasing the age pension (78%) and increasing superannuation to 12% (75%).

Only two of the actions listed received less than majority approval – sending asylum seekers to Malaysia was 39% approve/45% disapprove and introducing a carbon tax to tackle climate change was 33% approve/53% disapprove.

Labor voters showed majority approval of all decisions and policies, Greens voters showed majority approval for all except sending asylum seekers to Malaysia (21% approve/63% disapprove).

Liberal/National voters approved of half the items listed – increased funding of health services (89% approve), increasing the age pension (79%), increasing superannuation to 12% (71%), managing the economy to keep unemployment and interest rates low (54%), spending on new school buildings (54%), introducing a national disability insurance scheme (60%) and paid parental leave (52%).

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Awareness of Changes to Health System

Aug 22, 2011

Q. How much have you read and heard about the recent Federal Government changes concerning funding and delivery of health services?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
A lot 8% 10% 8% 16%
Something 21% 22% 24% 19%
A little 36% 38% 37% 32%
Nothing 28% 25% 28% 30%
Don’t know 7% 5% 4% 3%

Only 29% say they have heard a lot or something about the recent Federal Government changes concerning funding and delivery of health services, 36% say they have heard a little and 28% have heard nothing.

Those most likely to have heard a lot/something were aged 55+ (39%).

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Impact of Changes on Delivery of Health Services

Aug 22, 2011

Q. What impact do you think these changes will have on the delivery of health services in Australia?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Heard a lot / something Heard a little
A big impact 15% 17% 12% 21% 24% 7%
A moderate impact 35% 46% 28% 42% 42% 29%
A small impact 27% 22% 32% 15% 19% 34%
No impact 10% 3% 15% 6% 11% 10%
Don’t know 13% 11% 12% 16% 4% 20%

* based on those who have heard a lot/something/a little.

Of those who had heard a lot/something/a little, 50% think the health system changes will have a big or moderate impact on the delivery of health services in Australia, 27% think they will have small impact and 10% think they will have no impact.

Those who have heard more about the changes are more likely to think they will have an impact – 66% of those who have heard a lot/something think they will have a big/moderate impact compared to 36% of those who have only heard a little.

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Personal Impact of Changes to Health System

Aug 22, 2011

Q. What impact do you think these changes will have on you and your family?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Heard a lot / something Heard a little
A big impact 8% 6% 9% 13% 13% 5%
A moderate impact 23% 32% 19% 20% 30% 18%
A small impact 30% 33% 25% 40% 27% 33%
No impact 26% 18% 35% 16% 24% 27%
Don’t know 12% 12% 12% 11% 5% 18%

* based on those who have heard a lot/something/a little.

Respondents were less likely to think the changes will have an impact on their family. Of those who had heard a lot/something/a little, 31% think the health system changes will have a big or moderate impact on them, 30% think they will have small impact and 26% think they will have no impact.

43% of those who have heard a lot/something think they will have a big/moderate impact compared to 23% of those who have only heard a little.

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Opinion of Changes to Health System

Aug 22, 2011

Q. And from what you’ve read or heard, do you support or oppose these changes in the health care system proposed by the Federal Government?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Heard a lot / something Heard a little
Total support 36% 59% 21% 46% 50% 24%
Total oppose 13% 1% 22% 6% 17% 9%
Strongly support 8% 20% * 8% 13% 3%
Support 28% 39% 21% 38% 37% 21%
Neither support nor oppose 36% 28% 41% 27% 27% 44%
Oppose 8% 1% 13% 5% 9% 7%
Strongly oppose 5% 9% 1% 8% 2%
Don’t know 16% 11% 16% 20% 7% 23%

* based on those who have heard a lot/something/a little.

Of those who had heard a lot/something/a little, 36% support the changes and 13% oppose. Labor voters support the changes 50% to 1% oppose and Greens voters support them 46%/6%. 41% of Liberal/National voters neither support nor oppose, while 21% support and 22% oppose.

Those who have heard a lot/something are more likely to support the changes – 50% compared to 24% of those who have only heard a little.

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Best Party to Handle Australia’s Health System

Aug 22, 2011

Q. Overall, which party do you think would be best at handling Australia’s health system?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
The Labor Party 26% 69% 3% 39%
The Liberal Party 33% 2% 71% 3%
No difference 27% 18% 18% 39%
Don’t know 14% 10% 8% 19%

Opinions of party best to handle Australia’s health system very much follow voting preferences. Overall the Liberal Party is favoured over labor by 33% to 26%. 41% either don’t know or think there is no difference. 69% of Labor voters favour the Labor Party and 71% of Liberal/National voters favor the Liberals.

Men favour the Liberals 40% to 27% while women are more evenly divided – 25% Labor, 26% Liberal and 49% no difference/don’t know.

Those on incomes under $600pw favour Labor over the Liberals by 34% to 22% – all other income groups favour the Liberal Party.

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Approval of Healthcare Agreement

Feb 21, 2011

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the recent agreement between the Federal and State Governments for the Federal Government to provide 50% of growth funding for Australia’s healthcare system?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total approve 67% 81% 62% 74%
Total disapprove 9% 4% 15% 4%
Strongly approve 18% 31% 10% 25%
Approve 49% 50% 52% 49%
Disapprove 6% 4% 10% 3%
Strongly disapprove 3% * 5% 1%
Don’t know 24% 15% 24% 21%

Two-thirds of respondents approved of the recent agreement between the Federal and State Governments for the Federal Government to provide 50% of growth funding for Australia’s healthcare system and only 9% disapproved. All voter groups showed strong majority approval.

Older people were more supportive than younger people – 71% of those aged 55+ approved compared to 60% of those aged under 18-35. By state, Victoria had the highest approval at 72%.

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Impact of Healthcare Agreement

Feb 21, 2011

Q. Do you think this funding agreement will result in a better or a worse healthcare system or will it make no difference?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total better 49% 67% 39% 65%
Total worse/no difference 34% 20% 49% 20%
A lot better 8% 16% 4% 8%
A little better 41% 51% 35% 57%
Make no difference 28% 19% 38% 18%
A little worse 3% 1% 5% 1%
A lot worse 3% * 6% 1%
Don’t know 16% 13% 12% 16%

About half the respondents thought the agreement will result in a better healthcare system. Two thirds of Labor and Greens voters thought it would result in a better system but Liberal/National voters were more likely to think it would make no difference or be worse.

Although showing higher approval of the agreement, older people were more likely to think it would make no difference or be worse – those aged 45+ were split 49% better/40% no difference or worse compared to aged 18-44 at 50% better/29% no difference or worse.

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