Most Important Industries

Sep 5, 2011

Q. And which of these industries are the three most important for Australia’s economic future?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Mining 67% 77% 67% 61%
Agriculture 58% 57% 59% 58%
Tourism 46% 47% 43% 56%
Manufacturing 37% 30% 40% 36%
Construction 25% 26% 26% 31%
Finance 21% 18% 23% 17%
Retail 17% 18% 17% 12%
Telecommunications 14% 16% 11% 20%
Hospitality 10% 10% 9% 6%
Media 1% 1% 1% 1%
Don’t know 4% * 4% 3%

Australia’s most important industries are thought to be mining (67%), agriculture (58%), tourism (46%) and manufacturing (37%). Opinions are consistent across voter groups in terms of order of importance.

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Preferred Action on another GFC

Aug 29, 2011

Q. If the world has another GFC (Global Financial Crisis) and the Australian economy worsens, which of the following actions would be more likely to protect jobs and help the economy?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Increase Government spending on new infrastructure and services 48% 62% 42% 53%
Cut spending on infrastructure and services 22% 13% 31% 19%
Don’t know 30% 24% 28% 28%

Respondents were more likely to want the Government to increase spending if there was another GFC.  Support for increased spending was strongest among Labor voters (62%), men (55%) full-time workers (53%) and people earning over $1,600pw (55%).

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Opposition Leader’s proposal on Carbon Tax

Aug 29, 2011

Q. Do you think the Opposition Leader’s proposal to ditch the carbon tax but keep the personal tax cuts will –

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Help Australia’s economy 44% 19% 73% 11%
Hurt Australia’s economy 30% 58% 8% 67%
Don’t know 26% 24% 19% 22%

44% think Tony Abbott’s proposal to ditch the carbon tax but keep the tax cuts will help Australia’s economy and 30% think it will hurt the economy. Opinions were closely associated with voting intention – 73% of Liberal/National voters think it will help the economy while 58% of Labor voters and 67% of Greens voters think it will hurt the economy.

Those on higher incomes are more likely to think it will help the economy – 50% of those on $1,600+pw compared to only 39% of those earning less than $1,000pw.

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Government Actions on Economy

Aug 29, 2011

Q. If the Australian economy weakens and unemployment goes up would you approve or disapprove of the Government taking the following actions?

Total approve Total disapprove Strongly approve Approve Disapprove Strongly disapprove Don’t know
Reduce interest rates 79% 11% 32% 47% 8% 3% 11%$
Cut taxes for both individuals and businesses 61% 25% 16% 45% 21% 4% 14%
Cut taxes on low and middle income earners to help with cost of living while offsetting the revenue loss with a carbon tax on the 500 big polluters 61% 27% 26% 35% 15% 12% 12%
Introduce a mining tax on the big miners and use the money for govt. investment in infrastructure and social spending to stimulate the economy 58% 26% 24% 34% 16% 10% 16%
Cut taxes on lower and middle income earners to help with cost of living with no offsetting carbon tax on the 500 big polluters 51% 33% 15% 36% 24% 9% 16%
Cut taxes and cut Government investment in infrastructure and social spending 39% 43% 12% 27% 30% 13% 18%

Actions most approved were reduce interest rates (79% approve), cut taxes for both individuals and businesses (61%) and cut taxes on low and middle income earners to help with cost of living while offsetting the revenue loss with a carbon tax on the 500 big polluters (61%).

Cutting taxes while offsetting the revenue loss with a carbon tax was more popular than not offsetting the tax cuts with a carbon tax (61% to 51%).

The only action not approved by a majority was cutting taxes and investment in infrastructure and social spending (39% approve/43% disapprove). This was approved by 48% of Liberal/National voters but only 33% of Labor voters and 27% of Greens voters.

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The Australian Economy

Aug 15, 2011

Q. Thinking about the state of the world economy, how do you think the Australian economy has performed over the last few years compared to other countries?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total better 70% 77% 70% 85%
Total worse 10% 5% 14% 5%
A lot better 31% 41% 27% 48%
A little better 39% 36% 43% 37%
About the same 16% 17% 15% 8%
A little worse 7% 4% 9% 2%
A lot worse 3% 1% 5% 3%
Don’t know 3% 1% 1% 4%

70% think that Australia’s economy has performed better than other countries over the last few years, 16% say about the same and 10% think it has been worse.

There were no substantial differences across demographic groups although those on higher incomes are a little more likely to believe it has performed better – 76% of those on incomes over $1,600pw compared to 67% of those earning under $1,000pw.

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Government Handling of the Economy

Aug 15, 2011

Q. How do you think the Australia Government has handled our economy over the last few years?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total well 54% 82% 34% 81%
Total poorly 39% 13% 62% 12%
Very well 9% 22% 2% 16%
Quite well 45% 60% 32% 65%
Quite poorly 26% 11% 39% 8%
Very poorly 13% 2% 23% 4%
Don’t know 7% 6% 4% 7%

54% think the Australian Government has handled the economy very well or quite well over the last few years and 39% very poorly or quite poorly. 82% of Labor voters, 81% of Greens voters and 34% of Liberal/National voters think the Government has handled the economy well. 62% of Liberal/National voters think the Government has handled the economy poorly.

60% of those aged under 35 think the Government has handled the economy well, compared to 51% of those aged 35-54 and 51% of those aged 55+

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Likelihood of Another GFC

Aug 15, 2011

Q. How likely do you think it is that there will soon be another Global Financial Crisis (GFC) similar to the one that occurred in 2009?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total likely 47% 39% 53% 41%
Very likely 20% 17% 22% 12%
Fairly likely 27% 22% 31% 29%
About 50/50 39% 40% 40% 36%
Not very likely 8% 12% 5% 15%
Don’t know 7% 9% 2% 9%

47% believe that another GFC is very or quite likely and a further 39% think it is a 50/50 possibility.

There were no significant differences across demographic groups.

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Stimulus Spending

Aug 15, 2011

Q. If there is another Global Financial Crisis, do you think the Australian Government should undertake the same sort of stimulus spending they did in response to the 2009 GFC?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Yes 36% 48% 26% 56%
No 39% 24% 56% 23%
Don’t know 25% 28% 18% 21%

In the event of another GFC, 36% support stimulus spending and 39% oppose. About half of Labor and Greens voters support stimulus spending but over half of Liberal/National voters oppose.

Lower income earners are more likely to support stimulus spending – those earning under $1,000pw split 43% support/32% oppose while those earning over $1,000pw split 34% support/42% oppose.

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