Climate change becomes leading concern of Australian voters

Climate change becomes leading concern of Australian voters

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Damage caused by bushfire is seen at resident Brian Williams' resort at Lake Cooroibah Road in Noosa Shire, Queensland, Australia, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. Australia’s most populous state New South Wales declared a state of emergency on Monday due to unprecedented wildfire danger as calls grew for Australia to take more action to plan for an counter climate change. New South Wales state Emergency Services Minister David Elliott said residents were facing what "could be the most dangerous bushfire week this nation has ever seen.” (Rob Maccoll/AAP Images=Newsis)
Damage caused by bushfire is seen at resident Brian Williams’ resort at Lake Cooroibah Road in Noosa Shire, Queensland, Australia, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. Australia’s most populous state New South Wales declared a state of emergency on Monday due to unprecedented wildfire danger as calls grew for Australia to take more action to plan for an counter climate change. New South Wales state Emergency Services Minister David Elliott said residents were facing what “could be the most dangerous bushfire week this nation has ever seen.” (Rob Maccoll/AAP Images=Newsis)

Climate change and the environment have emerged as the biggest concern for Australian voters, according to the latest Trust Issues survey, published by JWS Research on Friday.
Post-election optimism for the governing Coalition has faded and anxiety levels over the stagnating economy have grown. The survey conducted from Nov. 6 to Nov. 11 revealed a significant shift in voters’ priorities since the election.

When asked, unprompted, to identify their top three issues of concern, 34 percent of respondents named the environment and climate, followed by hospitals, healthcare and ageing (28 percent), employment and wages (22 percent) and the economy and finances (20 percent).

By comparison, in the previous survey in June, one month after the election, only 22 percent of voters identified climate change as a concern.

The governing Liberal National Party Coalition and Prime Minister Scott Morrison have faced criticism for refusing to pursue ambitious climate change policies.

The poll was taken amid debates about the links between climate change and catastrophic bushfires that have devastated much of Australia’s east coast, killing four people.

When respondents were given a list of 20 potential concerns and asked to rate them in order of importance, climate change and the environment came fourth behind cost of living, health and employment and wages. (Xinhua=Newsis)