Essential Report

State government response to Covid-19

Apr 13, 2021

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

TOTAL: Good 12/04 15/03 01/03 15/02 01/02 30/11 16/11 02/11 05/10 21/09 07/09 24/08 10/08
NSW 73% 75% 72% 72% 71% 76% 75% 68% 65% 67% 57% 59% 61%
VIC 58% 62% 49% 59% 61% 60% 59% 55% 45% 47% 50% 47% 49%
QLD 72% 75% 73% 76% 78% 72% 71% 69% 69% 68% 66% 73% 68%
SA 75% 85% 78% 79% 80% 70% 76% 77% 81% 81% 74% 65% 72%
WA 84% 91% 85% 88% 80% 83% 82% 81% 83% 84% 87% 84% 86%
  • Positive rating of state governments’ response to the Covid-19 outbreak has decreased in all states in the last month.
  • While still high, the rating of the SA and WA governments have witnessed the largest drops in the last month – from 85% to 75% for the SA government and 91% to 84% for the WA government.
  • Positive rating of the VIC government has dipped back down to 58% (from 62% a month ago). This is consistent with levels in February.
  • Rating of the NSW and QLD governments are now at 73% and 72% respectively.

Confidence in Labor government handling of Covid-19 pandemic

Apr 13, 2021

Q. If a Labor government under Anthony Albanese had been in power, how confident are you that they would have done a good job at dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic?

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other  
Very confident 15% 21% 10% 13% 21% 12% 24% 10% 19% 14%  
Fairly confident 29% 27% 30% 33% 30% 24% 42% 22% 32% 22%  
Not that confident 24% 25% 23% 25% 21% 25% 18% 30% 25% 20%  
Not confident at all 14% 14% 13% 7% 10% 23% 3% 25% 5% 23%  
Unsure 18% 12% 24% 22% 18% 16% 13% 12% 20% 21%  
TOTAL:  Confident 44% 49% 40% 46% 51% 36% 65% 32% 50% 35%  
TOTAL:  Not Confident 37% 39% 36% 32% 31% 48% 21% 56% 29% 44%  
Base (n) 1,368 669 699 426 460 482 483 471 123 165  
  • 44% of Australians are confident that if a Labor government under Anthony Albanese had been in power, they would have done a good job at dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. 37% are not confident about this and 18% are unsure.
  • Labor voters are the most confident about this compared to other voters (65%). They are followed by Greens voters (50%). Coalition voters and minor and independent party voters are the least likely to be confident in this (32% and 35% respectively).
  • Those aged 18-34 and 35-43 are more confident that a Labor government would have done a good job a dealing with Covid-19 than those over 55 (46% and 51% to 36% respectively).

Satisfaction with speed of Covid-19 vaccine rollout

Apr 13, 2021

Q. Which of the following best describes your view on how quickly Australians are being vaccinated against Covid-19?

They are being vaccinated…

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other  
… much more quickly than I would like 13% 16% 10% 17% 18% 4% 10% 12% 16% 22%  
… a bit more quickly than I would like 8% 8% 7% 12% 9% 2% 7% 10% 8% 6%  
… at about the right speed 19% 18% 20% 24% 20% 13% 15% 21% 22% 14%  
… a bit more slowly than I would like 25% 23% 26% 24% 19% 31% 23% 34% 19% 13%  
… a lot more slowly than I would like 27% 28% 27% 15% 24% 42% 37% 19% 30% 30%  
Unsure 9% 7% 11% 9% 11% 8% 8% 4% 6% 16%  
TOTAL:  More quickly than I would like 20% 24% 17% 29% 27% 6% 16% 22% 24% 28%  
TOTAL:  More slowly than I would like 52% 52% 53% 39% 43% 73% 60% 52% 49% 42%  
Base (n) 1,368 669 699 426 460 482 483 471 123 165  
  • Just over half of Australians (52%) think Australians are being vaccinated against Covid-19 more slowly than they would like, with nearly a third (27%) feeling vaccinations are progressing a lot more slowly than they would like.
  • 20% think Australians are being vaccinated against Covid-19 more quickly than they would like and 9% are unsure.
  • Those over 55 are much more likely than younger cohorts to think the vaccine rollout is progressing more slowly than they would like (73% compared to 43% of those 35-54 and 39% those 18-34).
  • Labor voters are the most likely voters to think the vaccine rollout is progressing more slowly than they would like (60% compared to 52% Coalition voters, 49% Greens voters and 42% independent and minor party voters).

Party most responsible for slow vaccine rollout

Apr 13, 2021

Q. Which do you think is MOST responsible for Australians being vaccinated more slowly than you would like?

[Asked only to those who think Australians are being vaccinated against Covid-19 a bit / a lot more slowly than they would like]

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
The federal government 42% 45% 39% 36% 51% 40% 57% 24% 44% 49%
State and territory governments 7% 8% 7% 16% 7% 4% 5% 11% 5% 13%
International supply chains 24% 29% 20% 24% 19% 28% 17% 35% 20% 17%
Unavoidable delays in the production of vaccines 18% 13% 22% 15% 18% 19% 15% 22% 22% 16%
Unsure 8% 6% 11% 9% 6% 9% 6% 8% 8% 5%
Base (n) 713 356 357 165 194 354 291 242 61 72
  • The largest cohort within the group of those who think Australians are being vaccinated against Covid-19 more slowly than they would like, think the federal government is most responsible for this (42%).
  • About a quarter (24%) place the onus on international supply chains, followed by 18% who feel unavoidable delays in the production of vaccines are the main reason for the slow progress of the vaccine rollout in Australia.
  • Only 7% think state and territory governments are most responsible and 8% are unsure.
  • Those most likely to place responsibility on the federal government for Australians being vaccinated more slowly than they would like include those aged 35-54 (51%) and Labor voters (57%).
  • Coalition voters are the most likely to think international supply chains are most responsible for the delays (35%).

Views towards progress of Covid-19 vaccine rollout

Apr 13, 2021

Q. As you may be aware, distribution of the Covid-19 vaccines is primarily the responsibility of the federal government.

Scott Morrison promised in January this year that 4 million Australians would be vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of March. This target was shifted out in March to 4 million Australians by April 26th. As of April 2nd, 750,000 Australians have been vaccinated. 

How strongly 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
I’m confident that 4 million Australians will be vaccinated against Covid-19 by April 26th 19% 55% 6% 13% 26% 24% 31%
The federal government needs to step up and take more responsibility for ensuring Australians are vaccinated against Covid-19 as quickly as possible 56% 17% 28% 29% 27% 10% 7%
Delays in the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines are due to circumstances outside the federal government’s control, and there’s nothing more they could have done about it 47% 26% 15% 32% 27% 17% 10%
The slower than expected rollout indicates that the federal government is not doing as good a job as they claimed 48% 25% 21% 27% 27% 16% 9%

 

TOTAL: Agree Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
I’m confident that 4 million Australians will be vaccinated against Covid-19 by April 26th 19% 25% 13% 22% 28% 7% 14% 27% 21% 13%
The federal government needs to step up and take more responsibility for ensuring Australians are vaccinated against Covid-19 as quickly as possible 56% 58% 55% 51% 56% 61% 65% 53% 62% 54%
Delays in the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines are due to circumstances outside the federal government’s control, and there’s nothing more they could have done about it 47% 51% 43% 41% 50% 48% 37% 66% 36% 39%
The slower than expected rollout indicates that the federal government is not doing as good a job as they claimed 48% 50% 46% 45% 51% 47% 59% 37% 61% 49%
Base (n) 1,368 669 699 426 460 482 483 471 123 165
  • Well over half (56%) of Australians agree the federal government needs to step up and take more responsibility for ensuring Australians are vaccinated against Covid-19 as quickly as possible. Labor voters and those over 55 are the most likely to agree with this (65% and 61% respectively).
  • Just under half (48%) agree the slower than expected rollout indicates that the federal government is not doing as good a job as they claimed. Labor voters and Greens voters are most likely to follow this view (59% and 61%).
  • However, just under half as well (47%) agree the delays in the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines are due to circumstances outside the federal government’s control, and there’s nothing more they could have done about it. The majority of Coalition voters align with this view (66%).
  • Only 19% are confident that 4 million Australians will be vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of the month.

Views towards interstate travel during Covid-19

Apr 13, 2021

Q. The federal government recently announced incentives for Australians to travel to tourist destinations in Australia that have been badly affected by the lack of international visitors.

How strongly 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
As the Brisbane lockdown shows, there’s not much point in the federal government encouraging people to travel to other parts of Australia until the vaccine program has been completed 57% 18% 24% 33% 24% 12% 6%
I would be nervous about booking a trip to another state because it’s impossible to predict if the trip will suddenly be cancelled because of a Covid-19 outbreak 69% 14% 34% 35% 17% 8% 5%

 

TOTAL: Agree Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
As the Brisbane lockdown shows, there’s not much point in the federal government encouraging people to travel to other parts of Australia until the vaccine program has been completed 57% 58% 57% 51% 58% 63% 60% 58% 59% 56%
I would be nervous about booking a trip to another state because it’s impossible to predict if the trip will suddenly be cancelled because of a Covid-19 outbreak 69% 69% 69% 64% 69% 75% 71% 72% 72% 63%
Base (n) 1,368 669 699 426 460 482 483 471 123 165
  • The majority (69%) of Australians agree they would be nervous about booking a trip to another state because it’s impossible to predict if the trip will suddenly be cancelled because of a Covid-19 outbreak.
  • Most (57%) also agree that as the Brisbane lockdown shows, there’s not much point in the federal government encouraging people to travel to other parts of Australia until the vaccine program has been completed.
  • Those over 55 are more likely to agree with these statements than younger cohorts.

Views towards end of JobKeeper and JobSeeker supplement

Apr 13, 2021

Q. As you may be aware, the last JobKeeper payments will be paid in April 2021. JobKeeper was a fortnightly amount being paid through employers to help with employees’ wages. The supplement to JobSeeker also ends this month. This will mean that people who are unemployed get $50 less per week.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statements about the end of JobKeeper and the supplement to JobSeeker?

  TOTAL: Agree TOTAL: Disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree
I’m worried about how it will affect me 33% 41% 14% 18% 26% 16% 25%
I’m worried about how it will affect the economy 58% 15% 23% 36% 27% 10% 5%
There are a lot of businesses which have been surviving only because of JobKeeper and are unlikely to ever return 65% 9% 25% 40% 27% 5% 3%
The schemes should have been extended at least until the Covid-19 vaccine program is fully rolled out 48% 25% 22% 26% 26% 15% 11%
The schemes were far too expensive to continue any longer 53% 22% 22% 31% 26% 12% 9%
Big companies that have made a profit and paid dividends and bonuses should be forced to repay JobKeeper payments they received 66% 11% 36% 29% 24% 7% 4%
JobKeeper and the extra JobSeeker payments discouraged a lot of people from taking up jobs that were available 55% 20% 23% 32% 24% 11% 10%
The real problem the government should be addressing isn’t the cost of JobKeeper and JobSeeker but the fact that there aren’t enough decent jobs available 55% 18% 23% 32% 27% 12% 6%
Ending the supplement to JobSeeker will mean there is more poverty in the community 55% 16% 25% 30% 29% 11% 6%

 

TOTAL: Agree Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
I’m worried about how it will affect me 33% 37% 28% 48% 40% 13% 35% 31% 45% 26%
I’m worried about how it will affect the economy 58% 57% 59% 60% 59% 56% 67% 54% 62% 51%
There are a lot of businesses which have been surviving only because of JobKeeper and are unlikely to ever return 65% 63% 66% 62% 65% 67% 67% 64% 73% 64%
The schemes should have been extended at least until the Covid-19 vaccine program is fully rolled out 48% 48% 48% 57% 51% 38% 58% 37% 70% 48%
The schemes were far too expensive to continue any longer 53% 58% 47% 49% 50% 58% 44% 69% 38% 51%
Big companies that have made a profit and paid dividends and bonuses should be forced to repay JobKeeper payments they received 66% 69% 62% 57% 66% 73% 68% 67% 67% 67%
JobKeeper and the extra JobSeeker payments discouraged a lot of people from taking up jobs that were available 55% 58% 53% 51% 54% 60% 51% 65% 45% 53%
The real problem the government should be addressing isn’t the cost of JobKeeper and JobSeeker but the fact that there aren’t enough decent jobs available 55% 55% 55% 58% 59% 49% 65% 46% 63% 59%
Ending the supplement to JobSeeker will mean there is more poverty in the community 55% 52% 57% 57% 59% 49% 67% 42% 71% 54%
Base (n) 1,368 669 699 426 460 482 483 471 123 165
  • When thinking about the end of JobKeeper and the end of the supplement to JobKeeper, most agree that big companies that have made a profit and paid dividends and bonuses should be forced to repay JobKeeper payments they received (66%), and there are a lot of businesses which have been surviving only because of JobKeeper and are unlikely to ever return (65%).
  • This is followed by a large proportion of those who agree that they are worried about how these changes will affect the economy (58%).
  • In general, Australians are less likely to agree that they are worried about how the changes to JobKeeper and JobSeeker will affect themselves (33%) and that the schemes should have been extended at least until the Covid-19 vaccine program is fully rolled out (48%).
  • Older people are more likely to agree the schemes were far too expensive to continue any longer than younger cohorts (58% of those over 55 compared to 50% of those 35-54 and 49% those 18-34) and big companies that have made a profit and paid dividends and bonuses should be forced to repay JobKeeper payments they received (73% of those over 55 compared to 66% of those 35-54 and 57% of those 18-34).
  • Younger people are much more likely to agree that they’re worried about how the changes to the schemes will affect them personally than older cohorts (48% of those 18-34 and 40% of those 35-54 compared to 13% of those over 55). They are also more likely to agree that ending the supplement to JobSeeker will mean there is more poverty in the community (57% of those 18-34 and 59% those 35-54 compared to 49% those over 55).
  • Labor voters and Greens voters are the most likely to agree they’re worried about how it will affect the economy (67% and 62% respectively) compared to 54% of Coalition voters. These voters are also most likely to agree that the real problem the government should be addressing isn’t the cost of JobKeeper and JobSeeker but the fact that there aren’t enough decent jobs available (65% Labor voters and 63% Greens voters, compared to 46% Coalition voters).
  • Coalition supporters are the most likely voters to agree the schemes were far too expensive to continue any longer (69% compared to 44% Labor voters, 38% Greens voters and 51% minor and independent party voters), and JobKeeper and the extra JobSeeker payments discouraged a lot of people from taking up jobs that were available (65% compared to 51% Labor voters, 45% Greens voters and 53% minor and independent party voters).

Views towards paid parental leave

Apr 13, 2021

Q. Below are two options for paid parental leave. Which of the two do you think would be better for Australia as a whole?

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention Dependent Children
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other Have dependent children Do not have dependent children
Up to 18 weeks for primary carers, plus 2 weeks ‘Dad & Partner pay’. Both are paid at the same rate as the national minimum wage. 40% 45% 35% 30% 35% 53% 36% 48% 27% 37% 36% 42%
Up to 26 weeks at full pay including super, which can be used by either parent and split between them if they choose. 60% 55% 65% 70% 65% 47% 64% 52% 73% 63% 64% 58%
Base (n) 1,368 669 699 426 460 482 483 471 123 165 496 872
  • Of the two options for paid parental leave presented, the majority of Australians (60%) think up to 26 weeks at full pay including super, which can be used by either parent and split between them if they choose, would be better for Australia as a whole.
  • 40% think ‘Up to 18 weeks for primary carers, plus 2 weeks ‘Dad & Partner pay’. Both are paid at the same rate as the national minimum wage.’ would be better.
  • Women, those aged 18-34 and 35-54, Greens, Labor and minor and independent party voters, and those with dependent children are the most likely to think the ‘26 weeks’ option would be better for Australia.

COVID-19 RESEARCH

Read Essential's ongoing research on the public response to Covid-19.

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