Turning around the Titanic

Mar 8, 2011

First published on The Drum: 08/03/2011

The media works in eight-hour news cycles, politicians live and die by three-year cycles, while the planet’s climate is working on a significantly longer time frame.

The way these three cycles interplay over the next few months will determine not only the outcome of the next federal election but whether Australia will be a beneficiary or a victim of the shift in energy use that climate change will inevitably require*.

As this week’s Essential Report shows the Government has taken a short-term hammering after it’s decision to move on a carbon price. Not only has the Government failed to win popular support for its carbon pricing scheme, this has translated into a 4 per cent turnaround in the Two Party Preferred.

Of particular concern to Labor would be the high level of strong opposition, compared to strong support for the plan and the fact that barely half of Labor voters are backing the scheme.

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Disaster Relief Fund

Feb 14, 2011

Q. Do you think the Government should set up a permanent disaster relief fund or do you think it is better for the Government to respond to disasters as they occur?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Set up permanent disaster fund 63% 64% 65% 67%
Respond as disasters occur 29% 29% 31% 28%
Don’t know 7% 7% 4% 4%

63% believe the Government should set up a permanent disaster relief fund and 29% think it is better for the Government to respond to disasters as they occur.

Opinions are similar across voting intention groups.  Older respondents are more likely to support a permanent disaster fund (74% of aged 55+ support). 68% of Queenslanders also support a permanent fund.

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Government vs Private Sector

Jan 31, 2011

Q. Which of the following are better run by the private sector and which are better run by Government?

Better run by private sector Better run by Government Don’t know
Electricity 22% 61% 17%
Water 15% 70% 16%
Trains, buses and ferries 19% 68% 13%
Motorways 17% 70% 13%
Community services such as child protection 14% 71% 15%
Broadband services 53% 29% 19%
Health insurance services 48% 37% 15%
Property insurance 55% 27% 19%
Prisons 10% 76% 15%
Universities 20% 64% 16%

A substantial majority believed that the Government is better at running prisons (76%), community services (71%), water (70%) and motorways (70%). However, they are more likely to think that the private sector is better at running property insurance (55%), broadband services (53%) and health insurance (48%).

Although Liberal/National voters were a little more likely to favour the private sector on most issues, they also supported the Government running most services except for broadband services (63% private/24% Government), health insurance (59%/32%) and property insurance (65%/23%). Labor voters favoured the private sector to run broadband (44%/38%) and property insurance (50%/31%) but were split on health insurance (41% private/43% Government).

Support for Government run services was a little higher in NSW than in Victoria – e.g. electricity (64% NSW/59% Vic), water (73%/65%).

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Resources Super Profits Tax

Jun 28, 2010

Q. Which of the following approaches do you think the Government should take in their dispute with the mining companies over the proposed resources super profits tax?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Proceed with the tax as planned 11% 17% 4% 17%
Compromise a little and make minor changes to the tax 35% 52% 18% 62%
Compromise a lot and make major changes to the tax 26% 20% 41% 7%
Not proceed with the tax in any form 14% 3% 30% 5%
Don’t know 14% 8% 7% 8

Nearly half the respondents (46%) believe that the Government should proceed with the resources super profits tax unchanged or with minor changes. Only 14% oppose that tax in any form and 26% think the Government should make major changes to the tax.

69% of Labor voters want the tax to proceed unchanged or with minor changes as does 79% of Greens voters. 41% of Liberal/National voters want major changes and 30% do not want the tax in any form. Comments »



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