Essential Report

Government Decisions

May 30, 2017

Q. Thinking about some of the major decisions the Federal Government has made over the years, do you think the following decisions have been good for Australia or bad for Australia?

  Total good Total bad   Very good Good Neither good nor bad Bad Very bad Don’t know Total Good (Oct 2016)
Compulsory superannuation 75% 5%   39% 36% 12% 3% 2% 8% 71%
Medibank (Now Medicare) 56% 14%   26% 30% 19% 9% 5% 11% 63%
Introducing the GST 43% 24%   11% 32% 24% 14% 10% 9% 46%
Free trade agreements 41% 16%   10% 31% 27% 9% 7% 17% 38%
Floating the dollar 37% 10%   10% 27% 27% 7% 3% 25% 33%
Reducing subsidies to car manufacturing 35% 25%   10% 25% 24% 17% 8% 16% 28%
Privatising Qantas 31% 29%   6% 25% 24% 19% 10% 15% 28%
Privatising Telstra 27% 39%   6% 21% 20% 23% 16% 13% 22%
Privatising the Commonwealth Bank 26% 34%   7% 19% 24% 19% 15% 16% 24%

The least popular government initiative was privatising Telstra, which 39% thought was bad. Those most likely to think this decision was bad were South Australians (57% bad), other party/independent voters (55%) and those aged 55-64 (53%).The most popular government initiative listed was compulsory superannuation, which 75% thought was good. Those most likely to think this decision was good were those aged 65+ (86% good), Liberal/National voters (85%) and Western Australians (82%). 11% of other party/independent voters thought compulsory superannuation was bad.

The largest changes since this question was last asked in October 2016 were for Medibank/Medicare, approval for which dropped by 7%, and reducing car manufacturing subsidies, approval for which increased by 7%.

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