Amid rising housing, groceries, petrol and energy costs, and following four consecutive interest rate increases, cost of living remains Australians’ top priority for Federal Government attention.

True Issues is a research tool to assist Australian businesses to understand where their issues truly sit within the contemporary issues landscape. This poll was conducted as an online survey between 12 – 15 August among a representative national sample of 1,000 Australians aged 18+ years.

In the latest JWS Research True Issues survey, when asked to select up to five issues that personally interest or concern them the most and that the Australian Government should focus on, almost two thirds of adults (73%, up from 65% in March) prioritise cost of living.

Hospitals, healthcare and ageing remains the other dominant issue for most Australians, followed by the economy and finances (44%) and housing and interest rates (39%), which increased 12 percentage points over the last year on the expectation of imminent RBA rate rises.

These are followed by employment and wages (36%) – and the environment and climate change (36%, down from 42%), which has decreased since March, following the election of the new Labor Government and passing in the lower house of its Climate Change Bill to cut emissions by 43% by 2030.

Concern about energy has increased sharply since March (31%, up from 20%), amid ongoing public debate about energy supply and costs and following the suspension of the main electricity market in June.

As the new Albanese Government settles into its first Parliamentary term, Australians rate its performance (index of 54) significantly better than the Morrison Government’s performance during its final year in office.

The seven-point jump from the Morrison Government’s pre-election rating is substantial – but smaller than the ten-point increase recorded after the Abbot Government replaced Gillard’s minority Labor Government.

However, by comparison, over the Coalition’s last three terms in office, the Abbot, Turnbull and Morrison Governments failed to perform above ‘average’ (index of 50) until the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new Federal Government also outperforms its State and Territory counterparts, whose ratings continue their gradual decline back to pre-pandemic levels, falling a further two points since March (index of 52).

Following a period of stability over 2021, business and industry performance is also seen to be on the decline, (index of 54, down from 56), as the impacts of higher operating costs and continued staff shortages and supply chain disruptions are felt by the wider community. In contrast, the performance of local councils is slightly improved since March (index of 53, up from 52).

This is an excerpt from our latest True Issues report, to read the full report, click the link below.

For further enquiries or to include your issue in the next wave, please get in touch.