Essential Report

Trust in institutions

Oct 12, 2021

Q. How much trust do you have in the following institutions and organisations?

TOTAL: Trust Oct’21 Change since Mar’21 Mar’21   Aug’20
Scientific bodies (e.g. CSRIO) 68%   n/a   n/a
State & federal health authorities 64% -4% 70%   69%
Police, courts and the justice system 61% -3% 64%   64%
Universities 59%   n/a   n/a
State or territory government 55% -11% 66%   60%
The Commonwealth public service 52% -5% 57%   56%
Federal government 48% -6% 54%   55%

 

  TOTAL:

Trust

TOTAL:

Don’t trust

Have a lot of trust Have some trust Have little trust Have no trust at all Unsure
Scientific bodies (e.g. CSRIO) 68% 25% 30% 38% 18% 7% 7%
State & federal health authorities 64% 31% 21% 43% 21% 11% 5%
Police, courts and the justice system 61% 35% 18% 43% 23% 12% 4%
Universities 59% 34% 19% 41% 26% 9% 7%
State or territory government 55% 41% 16% 39% 25% 16% 4%
The Commonwealth public service 52% 41% 12% 40% 29% 12% 7%
Federal government 48% 47% 13% 35% 29% 18% 5%
  • Trust in the state/territory government and federal government has decreased since Mar’21. Trust in state/territory government has dropped from 66% to 55%, and trust in the federal government from 54% to 48%.
  • People have the most trust in scientific bodies (68%) and health authorities (64%).

Importance of action on climate change

Oct 12, 2021

Q. Which of the following best describes your attitude towards the issue of climate change and global warming?

Q Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
It is the most important issue and there is no other issue I am more concerned about 22% 23% 20% 29% 23% 15% 25% 18% 36% 21%
It is a very important issue, but there are other issues that equally concern me 45% 41% 48% 48% 45% 42% 53% 41% 52% 34%
It is somewhat an important issue, but there are other issues that I am more concerned about 20% 20% 20% 18% 19% 23% 14% 26% 10% 23%
It is not a very important issue, there are other issues that I am much more concerned about 7% 8% 6% 2% 6% 12% 5% 9% 2% 11%
It is not an important issue at all 6% 7% 6% 4% 7% 8% 2% 6% 0% 12%
Base (n) 1,097 540 557 342 366 389 362 414 94 138
  • 22% say climate change is the most important issue to them, with a further 45% saying it is important, along with other issues.
  • 7% said they were more concerned with issues other than climate change and just 6% said climate change isn’t an important issue.

Climate change acceptance

Oct 12, 2021

Q. Do you believe that there is fairly conclusive evidence that climate change is happening and caused by human activity or do you believe that the evidence is still not in and we may just be witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate which happens from time to time?

Q Oct’21 Jun’21 Jan’21 Jan’20 Nov’19 Mar’19 Oct’18 Sep’17 Aug’16
Climate change is happening and is caused by human activity 59% 56% 58% 56% 61% 62% 63% 64% 57%
We are just witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate 30% 27% 32% 32% 28% 27% 25% 24% 26%
Don’t know 11% 16% 10% 13% 11% 12% 13% 12% 17%
Base (n) 1,097 1,087 1,084 1,081 1,083 1,089 1,027 1,011 1,022

 

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
  Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Climate change is happening and is caused by human activity 59% 60% 58% 62% 60% 55% 70% 49% 77% 48%
We are just witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate 30% 31% 29% 28% 27% 36% 23% 39% 15% 47%
Don’t know 11% 9% 12% 10% 13% 9% 7% 12% 7% 6%
Base (n) 1,097 540 557 342 366 389 362 414 94 138
  • The majority of people accept that climate change is happening and caused by human activity (59%). This is consistent with previous years.
  • 30% think the changes in climate are part of a natural cycle and 11% are unsure. Those most likely to think we are witnessing a natural cycle include those aged over 55 (36%), Coalition voters (39%) and those voting for an independent or minor party (47%).

Addressing climate change

Oct 12, 2021

Q. As far as you know, do you think Australia is doing enough, not enough or too much to address climate change? 

Oct’21 Jun’21 Jan’21 Jun’20 Mar’20 Jan’20 Nov’19 Mar’19 Dec’18 Oct’18 Sep’17 Aug’16
Not doing enough 42% 45% 42% 52% 55% 62% 60% 51% 53% 56% 56% 52%
Doing enough 31% 30% 35% 25% 23% 19% 22% 27% 24% 23% 20% 22%
Doing too much 15% 12% 10% 10% 9% 8% 8% 11% 9% 7% 8% 8%
Don’t know 11% 13% 13% 13% 13% 11% 10% 12% 14% 13% 16% 18%
Base (n) 1,097 1,087 1,084 1,079 1,090 1,081 1,083 1,089 1,032 1,027 1,011 1,022

 

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
  Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Not doing enough 42% 41% 43% 38% 44% 44% 56% 26% 58% 39%
Doing enough 31% 31% 32% 33% 25% 36% 27% 47% 17% 23%
Doing too much 15% 18% 12% 19% 17% 9% 8% 18% 18% 29%
Don’t know 11% 10% 13% 10% 14% 11% 9% 9% 7% 9%
Base (n) 1,097 540 557 342 366 389 362 414 94 138
  • Most people think Australia is not doing enough to address climate change (42%), with 31% who think we are doing enough and 15% who think Australia is doing too much to address climate change. Consistent with previous years, 11% don’t know.
  • Since June 2021, there has been a shift among women, those aged 18-34 and Labor voters – all of whom are less likely to think Australia is not doing enough to address climate change.
  • 43% of women say Australia is not doing enough (down from 49% in Jun’21), while 32% say we are doing enough (up from 27%).
  • 38% of women say Australia is not doing enough (down from 47% in Jun’21), while those saying Australia is doing too much has increased from 7% to 12%.
  • 56% of Labor voters say Australia is not doing enough (down from 64% in Jun’21), while 27% say we are doing enough (up from 19%).

Preferred emissions targets

Oct 12, 2021

Q. The federal government plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 26–28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Which of the following would you prefer the federal government pursued?

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
  Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Set a more ambitious target for 2030 43% 45% 42% 51% 43% 37% 52% 38% 56% 40%
Set a net zero target for 2050 25% 27% 23% 28% 24% 22% 25% 27% 30% 25%
Not set any targets for 2030 or 2050 13% 16% 10% 7% 10% 21% 8% 17% 4% 22%
Unsure 19% 12% 26% 13% 23% 21% 15% 18% 10% 13%
Column n 1,097 540 557 342 366 389 362 414 94 138
  • There is a demand for strong commitment to reducing emissions. 43% want to set a more ambitious target for 2030 with a further 25% wanting to aim for net-zero by 2050.
  • Over half of those aged 18-34, Labor and greens voters all want more ambitious targets for 2030.
  • The majority of Coalition voters at least want net-zero targets for 2050 (65%), with 38% wanting more ambitious targets for 2030.

Attitudes to Climate change and COP26 Summit

Oct 12, 2021

Q. The UN climate summit (COP26) will start on October 31 in Glasgow, Scotland.

During the summit, world leaders are expected to develop the next emissions standards to slow global warming and keep temperature rise below 1.5C. Australia is one of 200 countries expected to outline their emissions reduction goals for 2030.

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
Australia needs to follow other countries’ lead and make climate change a priority, or risk being left behind 57% 17% 28% 29% 27% 10% 6%
Australian businesses have the opportunity to develop expertise in renewable energy and innovative technologies that other countries will demand 64% 9% 26% 39% 26% 7% 3%
Australian manufacturing could benefit from cheap electricity if more solar and wind farms were built 63% 13% 28% 36% 24% 7% 5%
Australia cannot afford to be locked out of the EU or other trade markets for failing to adopt a net zero emissions by 2050 target 57% 12% 25% 32% 31% 8% 4%

 

TOTAL: Agree Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Australia needs to follow other countries’ lead and make climate change a priority, or risk being left behind 57% 56% 57% 56% 60% 53% 64% 52% 70% 51%
Australian businesses have the opportunity to develop expertise in renewable energy and innovative technologies that other countries will demand 64% 67% 62% 58% 64% 70% 67% 64% 68% 64%
Australian manufacturing could benefit from cheap electricity if more solar and wind farms were built 63% 63% 64% 56% 67% 66% 68% 61% 71% 58%
Australia cannot afford to be locked out of the EU or other trade markets for failing to adopt a net zero emissions by 2050 target 57% 60% 55% 48% 58% 64% 61% 58% 64% 51%
Column n 1,097 540 557 342 366 389 362 414 94 138
  • Most people agree that the expected emissions reduction goals for 2030 are both an opportunity and threat for Australia.
  • Just under two-thirds agree that Australia can develop expertise in renewable energy and innovative technologies that other countries will demand (64%) and that manufacturing could benefit from cheap electricity if more solar and wind farms were built (63%).
  • There is majority agreement with the threats for Australia if they do not match other countries’ commitments with 57% agreeing with both statements – that Australia needs to follow other countries’ lead and make climate change a priority, and Australia cannot afford to be locked out of the EU or other trade markets for failing to adopt a net zero emissions by 2050 target.

Federal government response to Covid-19

Sep 28, 2021

Q. Overall, how would you rate the federal government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak?

  27/09 13/09 30/08 16/08 02/08 19/07 05/07 07/06 24/05 12/04 15/03 01/03 15/02
Very poor 12% 16% 16% 13% 16% 13% 12% 10% 6% 7% 5% 6% 5%
Quite poor 18% 20% 20% 22% 19% 19% 17% 14% 12% 10% 7% 8% 7%
Neither good nor poor 25% 21% 24% 24% 28% 23% 26% 22% 25% 21% 18% 24% 19%
Quite good 34% 28% 29% 32% 28% 32% 33% 38% 40% 40% 39% 39% 42%
Very good 11% 15% 10% 9% 10% 14% 11% 15% 18% 22% 31% 23% 27%
TOTAL: Poor 30% 35% 36% 35% 35% 31% 30% 24% 18% 17% 12% 14% 12%
TOTAL: Good 45% 43% 39% 41% 38% 46% 44% 53% 58% 62% 70% 62% 69%
Base (n) 1,094 1,100 1,100 1,100 1,098 1,100 1,099 1,104 1,100 1,368 1,124 1,074 1,109

 

TOTAL: Good 27/09 13/09 30/08 16/08 02/08 19/07 05/07 07/06 24/05 12/04 15/03 01/03
NSW 48% 41% 34% 34% 39% 49% 44% 62% 56% 66% 69% 64%
VIC 39% 39% 35% 37% 33% 39% 40% 42% 57% 55% 65% 51%
QLD 44% 43% 45% 44% 40% 46% 48% 54% 56% 63% 69% 66%
SA 42% 54% 48% 45% 48% 51% 48% 58% 66% 62% 78% 68%
WA 48% 51% 51% 53% 37% 51% 42% 49% 56% 65% 75% 66%
  • 45% of people rate the federal government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak as quite good or very good (up from 39% last month), with 30% rating it as quite poor or very poor.
  • Positive rating of the federal government’s handling of Covid-19 has increased in NSW to 48%, from 41% a fortnight ago and 34% last month. Positive rating has also dropped in SA to 42%, from 54% last time.

State government response to Covid-19

Sep 28, 2021

Q. How would you rate your state government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak?

TOTAL: Good 27/09 13/09 30/08 16/08 02/08 19/07 05/07 07/06 24/05 12/04 15/03 01/03 15/02
NSW 53% 46% 40% 42% 47% 54% 57% 69% 68% 73% 75% 72% 72%
VIC 44% 50% 44% 56% 54% 49% 50% 48% 63% 58% 62% 49% 59%
QLD 62% 65% 67% 66% 60% 62% 61% 65% 68% 72% 75% 73% 76%
SA 55% 67% 76% 68% 73% 68% 67% 67% 71% 75% 85% 78% 79%
WA 82% 87% 78% 87% 82% 77% 86% 75% 77% 84% 91% 85% 88%
  • Positive rating of the state government’s response to Covid-19 has increased in NSW from 46% to 53%.
  • Rating in Victoria returns to 44% (equal to last month), after being at 50% earlier in September.
  • Positive rating of State government has also fallen in SA, from 67% to 55%.
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COVID-19 RESEARCH

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