Essential Report

Federal government response to Covid-19

Sep 14, 2021

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

  13/09 30/08 16/08 02/08 19/07 05/07 07/06 24/05 12/04 15/03 01/03 15/02 01/02
Very poor 16% 16% 13% 16% 13% 12% 10% 6% 7% 5% 6% 5% 4%
Quite poor 20% 20% 22% 19% 19% 17% 14% 12% 10% 7% 8% 7% 11%
Neither good nor poor 21% 24% 24% 28% 23% 26% 22% 25% 21% 18% 24% 19% 19%
Quite good 28% 29% 32% 28% 32% 33% 38% 40% 40% 39% 39% 42% 42%
Very good 15% 10% 9% 10% 14% 11% 15% 18% 22% 31% 23% 27% 25%
TOTAL: Poor 35% 36% 35% 35% 31% 30% 24% 18% 17% 12% 14% 12% 14%
TOTAL: Good 43% 39% 41% 38% 46% 44% 53% 58% 62% 70% 62% 69% 67%
Base (n) 1,100 1,100 1,100 1,098 1,100 1,099 1,104 1,100 1,368 1,124 1,074 1,109 1,092

 

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

State government response to Covid-19

Sep 14, 2021

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

TOTAL: Good 13/09 30/08 16/08 02/08 19/07 05/07 07/06 24/05 12/04 15/03 01/03 15/02 01/02
NSW 46% 40% 42% 47% 54% 57% 69% 68% 73% 75% 72% 72% 71%
VIC 50% 44% 56% 54% 49% 50% 48% 63% 58% 62% 49% 59% 61%
QLD 65% 67% 66% 60% 62% 61% 65% 68% 72% 75% 73% 76% 78%
SA 67% 76% 68% 73% 68% 67% 67% 71% 75% 85% 78% 79% 80%
WA 87% 78% 87% 82% 77% 86% 75% 77% 84% 91% 85% 88% 80%
  • Positive rating of the state government’s response to Covid-19 has increased in both NSW and VIC by 6 percentage points respectively (now 46% and 50% respectively).
  • After weeks of falling ratings, this is the first improvement seen in both states since the first half of August. However, we are yet to see these ratings recover to their high levels in the first quarter of the year.
  • While still a relatively high rating, positive rating of the SA government’s response to Covid-19 has dropped by 9 percentage points to 67% in the last fortnight.
  • Contrastingly, positive rating of the WA government’s handling of Covid-19 has increased 9 percentage points to 87%. Both SA and WA ratings reflect those seen a month ago.
  • Positive rating of the QLD government is at 65%, consistent with last month (66%).

Views towards reopening international borders

Sep 14, 2021

Q. Thinking about reopening Australia’s international borders, which of the following is closer to your view?

Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
We need to accept some deaths to reopen our borders as the cost of remaining closed is too high 20% 24% 17% 20% 23% 19% 12% 26% 18% 24%
We need to accept some deaths but must take every reasonable step to minimise deaths, even if it means slowing our reopening 45% 43% 48% 46% 45% 45% 48% 46% 47% 43%
We cannot accept any deaths that could be prevented by keeping our borders closed until it’s safe to reopen them 34% 34% 35% 35% 32% 36% 40% 27% 34% 33%
Base (n) 1,100 539 561 341 374 385 367 389 103 145

 

  State
NSW VIC QLD SA WA
We need to accept some deaths to reopen our borders as the cost of remaining closed is too high 24% 22% 18% 14% 15%
We need to accept some deaths but must take every reasonable step to minimise deaths, even if it means slowing our reopening 49% 47% 42% 47% 39%
We cannot accept any deaths that could be prevented by keeping our borders closed until it’s safe to reopen them 27% 30% 40% 40% 46%
Base (n) 352 274 217 89 111
  • When thinking about reopening Australia’s international borders, 45% think we need to accept some deaths but must take every reasonable step to minimise deaths, even if it means slowing our reopening.
  • A third (34%) think we cannot accept any deaths that could be prevented by keeping our borders closed until it’s safe to reopen them. 20% think we need to accept some deaths to reopen our borders as the cost of remaining closed is too high.
  • Men are more likely than women to think the cost of remaining closed is too high (24% to 17%), as are Coalition voters compared to all other voters (26% to 15%).

Views towards state border closures

Sep 14, 2021

Q. Thinking about state border closures, which of the following is closer to your view?

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
States with low or no Covid-19 cases should be allowed to keep their borders to other states closed for as long as they think is necessary 41% 39% 42% 37% 44% 40% 46% 33% 41% 41%
States with low or no Covid-19 cases should be required to reopen their borders to other states when 80% of the adult (16+) population is fully vaccinated 37% 39% 35% 45% 36% 31% 33% 42% 36% 39%
States with low or no Covid-19 cases should be required to reopen their borders to other states when 80% of the total population (including children) is fully vaccinated 23% 22% 23% 18% 20% 29% 21% 24% 23% 20%
Base (n) 1,100 539 561 341 374 385 367 389 103 145
  • 41% of people think states with low or no Covid-19 cases should be allowed to keep their borders to other states closed for as long as they think is necessary.
  • On the other hand, 37% think these states should be required to reopen their borders to other states when 80% of the adult (16+) population is fully vaccinated, and 23% think this should be required when 80% of the total population (including children) is fully vaccinated.
  • Those aged 18-34 are more likely than older cohorts to think states with low or no Covid-19 cases should be required to reopen their borders to other states when 80% of the adult (16+) population is fully vaccinated (45%, compared to 36% of those aged 35-54 and 31% of those over 55).
  • Those aged over 55 are the most likely to think this should only be required when 80% of the total population (including children) is fully vaccinated (29% to 20% of those aged 35-54 and 18% of those aged 18-34).
  State
NSW VIC QLD SA WA
States with low or no Covid-19 cases should be allowed to keep their borders to other states closed for as long as they think is necessary 28% 31% 55% 47% 67%
States with low or no Covid-19 cases should be required to reopen their borders to other states when 80% of the adult (16+) population is fully vaccinated 46% 39% 30% 36% 17%
States with low or no Covid-19 cases should be required to reopen their borders to other states when 80% of the total population (including children) is fully vaccinated 25% 30% 15% 17% 16%
Base (n) 352 274 217 89 111
  • Western Australians and Queenslanders are the most likely to think states with low or no Covid-19 cases should be allowed to keep their borders to other states closed for as long as they think is necessary (67% and 55% respectively).
  • NSW residents are most likely to think these states should be required to reopen their borders to other states when 80% of the adult (16+) population is fully vaccinated (46%).
  • Victorians are most likely to think opening state borders should be required when 80% of the total population (including children) is fully vaccinated (30%).

Comprehension and confidence in PM’s plan to ‘safely reopen’ Australia

Sep 14, 2021

Q. The Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he has a “safe plan to ensure that Australia can open up again with confidence”.

Thinking about this statement, which of the following applies to you?

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
I understand the plan and have confidence in it 26% 34% 19% 30% 27% 23% 18% 40% 23% 19%
I understand the plan but don’t have confidence in it 39% 38% 40% 38% 38% 40% 49% 30% 40% 43%
I’m aware of the plan but don’t understand it 15% 14% 17% 15% 13% 17% 12% 17% 19% 14%
I’m not aware of the plan 20% 14% 25% 16% 22% 20% 21% 13% 19% 24%
Base (n) 1,100 539 561 341 374 385 367 389 103 145

 

  State
NSW VIC QLD SA WA
I understand the plan and have confidence in it 32% 26% 23% 22% 23%
I understand the plan but don’t have confidence in it 38% 43% 35% 38% 41%
I’m aware of the plan but don’t understand it 17% 14% 15% 18% 14%
I’m not aware of the plan 14% 17% 27% 22% 22%
Base (n) 352 274 217 89 111
  • About 4 in 10 (39%) say they understand the PM’s plan to ‘safely reopen’ Australia but don’t have confidence in it. In comparison, about a quarter (26%) say they understand the plan and have confidence in it.
  • 20% aren’t aware of this plan, and 15% are aware of it but don’t understand it.
  • Men are almost twice as likely as women to say they understand the plan and have confidence in it (34% to 19% respectively). Whereas women are more likely than men to say they aren’t aware of the plan (25% to 14%).
  • Besides men, those aged 18-34 (30%) and Coalition voters (40%) are more likely than others to say they understand and have confidence in the PM’s plan.

Uptake of a Covid-19 vaccine

Sep 14, 2021

Q. The Covid-19 vaccine rollout is underway in Australia.

Which of the following best describes your situation? 

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
I’ve already had the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine /

I’ve already had both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine

69% 72% 66% 53% 67% 86% 65% 80% 67% 57%
I’ve booked my vaccination and am waiting to get my first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine 11% 10% 12% 20% 11% 4% 13% 10% 13% 9%
I will get vaccinated but haven’t booked my vaccination yet 14% 13% 15% 20% 15% 7% 16% 8% 16% 18%
I’d never get vaccinated 6% 6% 6% 8% 7% 3% 6% 2% 4% 15%
Base (n) 1,100 539 561 341 374 385 367 389 103 145

 

  State
NSW VIC QLD SA WA
I’ve already had the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine /

I’ve already had both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine

75% 66% 72% 59% 63%
I’ve booked my vaccination and am waiting to get my first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine 12% 15% 6% 10% 10%
I will get vaccinated but haven’t booked my vaccination yet 9% 14% 14% 26% 19%
I’d never get vaccinated 5% 6% 8% 4% 8%
Base (n) 352 274 217 89 111
  • 69% of people say they’ve had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, while 11% say they’ve booked their Covid-19 vaccination and are waiting for their first dose.
  • 14% say they will get vaccinated but haven’t booked an appointment yet.
  • Those most likely to say they’ve had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine include men (72%), those aged over 55 (86%), Coalition voters (80%), those in NSW (75%) and Queenslanders (72%).
  • 20% of people aged 18-34 have booked their vaccination and are waiting for their first dose. However, a further 20% say they haven’t booked their vaccination yet (20%).
  • Only 6% of people now say they would never get vaccinated – the lowest number recorded this year.

Necessity of mandatory vaccinations in specific situations

Sep 14, 2021

Q. In your opinion, should being vaccinated against Covid-19 be mandatory in the following circumstances?:

  Yes No Unsure
For health workers to work at hospitals, clinics, etc. 83% 12% 5%
For aged and disability care workers to work at care facilities 82% 14% 5%
For passengers to go on flights 77% 17% 7%
For teachers and teachers’ aides to work at schools 74% 19% 7%
For spectators to attend sports events 69% 22% 9%
For patrons to visit hospitality and entertainment venues 68% 22% 10%
For employees to work at their workplace 62% 24% 14%
For students to attend school 58% 26% 16%
For customers to shop at retail stores 58% 30% 12%
  • A high majority of people think being vaccinated against Covid-19 should be mandatory for health workers (83%), aged and disability care workers (82%), flight passengers (77%), and teachers and teacher’s aides (74%) – at least three quarters of people think mandatory vaccinations are necessary in each case.
  • Around two thirds think mandatory vaccinations are necessary for sports events spectators (69%), hospitality and entertainment venue patrons (68%), and employees going into workplaces (62%).
  • Over half think being vaccinated against Covid-19 should be mandatory for students to attend school, and for retail store customers (58% respectively).
TOTAL: Yes Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
For health workers to work at hospitals, clinics, etc. 83% 81% 85% 74% 81% 93% 84% 91% 77% 68%
For aged and disability care workers to work at care facilities 82% 78% 85% 70% 79% 94% 84% 87% 83% 66%
For passengers to go on flights 77% 73% 80% 63% 74% 90% 81% 81% 76% 62%
For teachers and teachers’ aides to work at schools 74% 72% 76% 61% 69% 90% 78% 80% 69% 58%
For spectators to attend sports events 69% 70% 68% 55% 68% 82% 72% 76% 63% 53%
For patrons to visit hospitality and entertainment venues 68% 69% 66% 56% 65% 80% 72% 74% 62% 51%
For employees to work at their workplace 62% 63% 60% 50% 60% 74% 62% 71% 56% 48%
For students to attend school 58% 60% 56% 52% 56% 65% 61% 63% 58% 43%
For customers to shop at retail stores 58% 59% 56% 48% 57% 66% 57% 67% 53% 43%
Base (n) 1,100 539 561 341 374 385 367 389 103 145
  • In each instance, those aged 18-34 and minor/independent party voters are the least likely to think being vaccinated against Covid-19 should be mandatory.
  • While those over 55 are generally more likely to think mandatory vaccinations are necessary in each circumstance, their view is especially pronounced for health workers (93%), aged and disability care workers (94%), flight passengers (90%), and teachers and teachers’ aides (90%).
  • Coalition voters are the most likely voters to think mandatory vaccinations are necessary for employees to work at their workplace (71% to 58% all other voters).
  • There is no difference between those who have and don’t have dependent children in views towards whether mandatory vaccinations are necessary for students to attend school.

Views towards easing restrictions for fully vaccinated people

Sep 14, 2021

Q. Thinking about Covid-19 restrictions and vaccinations, which of the following is closer to your view?

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Restrictions should be relaxed for people who have been fully vaccinated effective immediately 39% 42% 36% 40% 37% 39% 34% 47% 37% 31%
Restrictions should only be relaxed when everyone has had the opportunity to get vaccinated 44% 42% 45% 41% 43% 48% 51% 42% 47% 36%
People who are vaccinated should not be treated any differently to unvaccinated people 17% 16% 19% 19% 20% 13% 16% 11% 15% 33%
Base (n) 1,100 539 561 341 374 385 367 389 103 145

 

  State
NSW VIC QLD SA WA
Restrictions should be relaxed for people who have been fully vaccinated effective immediately 46% 38% 36% 33% 30%
Restrictions should only be relaxed when everyone has had the opportunity to get vaccinated 39% 46% 45% 49% 51%
People who are vaccinated should not be treated any differently to unvaccinated people 15% 16% 19% 18% 19%
Base (n) 352 274 217 89 111
  • 44% of people think restrictions should only be relaxed when everyone has had the opportunity to get vaccinated. A further 39% think restrictions should be relaxed for people who have been fully vaccinated effective immediately. 17% think people who are vaccinated should not be treated any differently to unvaccinated people.
  • Coalition voters (47%) and NSW residents (46%) are most likely to think restrictions should be relaxed for people who have been fully vaccinated effective immediately.
  • Labor voters (51%) and Western Australians (51%) are most likely to think restrictions should only be relaxed when everyone has had the opportunity to get vaccinated.
  I’ve already had the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine /

 I’ve already had both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine

I’ve booked my vaccination and am waiting to get my first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine I will get vaccinated but haven’t booked my vaccination yet I’d never get vaccinated
Restrictions should be relaxed for people who have been fully vaccinated effective immediately 47% 25% 19% 11%
Restrictions should only be relaxed when everyone has had the opportunity to get vaccinated 45% 66% 38% 3%
People who are vaccinated should not be treated any differently to unvaccinated people 8% 9% 43% 87%
Base (n) 756 132 150 62
  • Support for easing of restrictions for fully vaccinated people is highest among those who themselves have already received a Covid-19 vaccine (47%).
  • The majority of those waiting to receive a vaccine think restrictions should be eased only once everyone has had the opportunity to be vaccinated (66%).
  • 43% of those who say they’ll get vaccinated but haven’t booked their vaccination yet think people who are vaccinated should not be treated any differently to unvaccinated people. Only 9% of those who have booked their vaccination say this.
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