While Australians continue to cite ‘Healthcare’ as the single biggest issue facing the nation, its distinction as the clear front runner has declined in recent months, as anxieties around key economic issues come to the fore.
As the Government, Opposition and other parties prepare to draw swords and charge towards November’s state election, Victorian citizens are delivering their politicians a rich river of concerns and will be looking for a response in the lead up to 29 November.
As the Coalition prepares to deliver its first budget, ‘The Economy’ continues to be rated by Australians as the most important issue nationally, selected by over two in five (41%) as one of the top three issues facing the nation. ‘The Economy’ has been the nation’s greatest concern since November 2013, and, as such, it is safe to say we are well entrenched in a new paradigm of concern, largely driven by a final and perhaps overdue recognition that the global economy runs in both directions.
Despite the Coalition Government’s looming first budget, the economy is not a pressing issue for Western Australians.
In the last quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014 we saw community focus on crime and drug abuse rise sharply, with both reaching three year highs in late 2013 and continuing to rise in the first quarter of 2014.
The first quarter of 2014 saw the top issues facing Queensland converge somewhat, with healthcare again topping the list followed by cost of living, crime, unemployment, and petrol prices.
For most of Prime Minister Abbott’s first term, ‘The Economy’ has been the top issue facing the Australia. A unique scenario, given Prime Ministers’ Gillard and Rudd presided over an environment where ‘Healthcare’ and, for a time, ‘Cost of Living’ topped the list.
In the second quarter of 2014 we saw the NSW community return to a more familiar headspace with some reshuffling of the issues of concern that saw healthcare return to the top spot (44%) in terms of the being the most important issue facing NSW. This was then followed be a cluster of three issues, namely cost of living (30%), housing (30%) and crime (29%), with unemployment rounding out the top five (25%), marginally ahead of transport (24%) and education (24%).
In the second quarter of 2014 we saw Queenslanders continue their recent focus on unemployment and increase their focus on the economy and the cost of living.
As we close on November’s election, the issues of most concern to Victorians’ have remained largely unchanged for some time. Anxiety around ‘Healthcare’ continues to lead the way, a few lengths ahead of the peloton; a pack that includes relative newcomer but now mainstay ‘Unemployment’, ‘Crime’, ‘Cost of Living’ and our (uniquely Victorian) worries around ‘Transport’.