Attitudes towards Temporary Migrants

May 12, 2020

Q. Temporary migrants include people on skilled worker visas (which are used to cover jobs where there are skill shortages including engineers, nurses and scientists), most New Zealand citizens living in Australia, and international students.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

  TOTAL: Agree TOTAL: Disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree, nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know
Temporary migrants support the economy by spending their money in Australia 57% 17% 19% 39% 23% 12% 5% 3%
Businesses should hire Australian citizens where they can, even if they’re not as skilled as candidates who are temporary migrants 54% 21% 26% 28% 22% 13% 8% 3%
If temporary migrants pay the same taxes as Australian citizens, they should be entitled to the same government support 52% 20% 21% 31% 24% 11% 9% 4%
It’s realistic to expect temporary residents who lose work in Australia to go back to their home countries 52% 20% 21% 31% 24% 13% 7% 4%
Without temporary migrants, Australia would face skill shortages 48% 23% 15% 33% 24% 12% 11% 5%
Australia would be better off if we had fewer temporary migrants 41% 27% 18% 23% 28% 14% 12% 4%

 

TOTAL: Agree   Employment Status Federal Voting Intention
Total In paid employment Not in paid employment Retired Labor Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Temporary migrants support the economy by spending their money in Australia 57% 60% 51% 64% 59% 62% 56% 50%
Businesses should hire Australian citizens where they can, even if they’re not as skilled as candidates who are temporary migrants 54% 53% 46% 67% 50% 61% 40% 75%
If temporary migrants pay the same taxes as Australian citizens, they should be entitled to the same government support 52% 57% 48% 52% 56% 51% 55% 51%
It’s realistic to expect temporary residents who lose work in Australia to go back to their home countries 52% 52% 44% 63% 51% 59% 32% 65%
Without temporary migrants, Australia would face skill shortages 48% 51% 47% 48% 48% 57% 45% 34%
Australia would be better off if we had fewer temporary migrants 41% 43% 31% 52% 41% 46% 22% 57%
Base (n) 1,067 550 254 212 306 418 86 143
  • More than half of participants agree with any of the statements about temporary migrants – except without temporary migrants, Australia would face skill shortages (48%) and Australia would be better off if we had fewer temporary migrants (41%).
  • Retirees are more likely to agree that businesses should hire Australian citizens where they can, even if they’re not as skilled as candidates who are temporary migrants (67%), Australia would be better off if we had fewer temporary migrants (52%) and it’s realistic to expect temporary residents who lose work in Australia to go back to their home countries (63%) than other participants (51%, 39% and 49% respectively).
  • Similarly other or independent party voters are most likely to agree that businesses should hire Australian citizens where they can, even if they’re not as skilled as candidates who are temporary migrants (75% v 55% all other voters) and Australia would be better off if we had fewer temporary migrants (57% v 41% all other voters).
  • Coalition most likely to agree without temporary migrants, Australia would face skill shortages (57% v 44% all other voters).
  • Greens voters are least likely to agree that businesses should hire Australian citizens where they can, even if they’re not as skilled as candidates who are temporary migrants (40% v 59% all other voters), Australia would be better off if we had fewer temporary migrants (22% v 45% all other voters) and it’s realistic to expect temporary residents who lose work in Australia to go back to their home countries (32% v 57% all other voters).
  • Participants who support Kristina Kenneally’s “Australia first” approach more likely to agree that businesses should hire Australian citizens where they can, even if they’re not as skilled as candidates who are temporary migrants (68%) and Australia would be better off if we had fewer temporary migrants (52%).

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