Nearly two-thirds of Australians happy with government handling of COVID-19

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Nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of Australians are happy with how the government is handling the COVID-19 crisis, but almost six in 10 (59 per cent) think the worst is yet to come, according to the latest Roy Morgan analysis.

Satisfaction in the government’s management of the pandemic is up by 22 per cent in the past week.

Of those who agree that the government is handling the coronavirus well, 21 per cent strongly agree while a further 44 per cent agree.

In contrast, just one third (29 per cent) of Australians disagree that the government is handling the coronavirus well, with six per cent strongly disagreeing and a further 23 per cent saying they disagree. All of these numbers have reduced significantly in the past week.

“The sharp rise in support for the government’s handling of the coronavirus comes after the announcement of Australia’s largest ever stimulus package on 30 March – the $130 billion ‘JobKeeper’ wage subsidy,” Roy Morgan chief Michelle Levine told YourLifeChoices.

The JobKeeper program is set to provide a fortnightly payment of $1500 to employers to pay to their employees while they are stood down due to the impact of the coronavirus.

“This is particularly applicable to retail and hospitality businesses that have been forced to shut their doors to comply with strict social distancing directives but is also available to travel and tourism, and businesses in other industries that have also been negatively impacted by the pandemic,” said Ms Levine.

“The announcement of the JobKeeper wage subsidy has also coincided with a steep decline in new cases of coronavirus. From a peak of over 450 new cases on 28 March, a week later this had dropped to under 200 and is now approaching only 100 new cases per day.”

Previously, only 38 per cent of those in New South Wales agreed that the government was doing well. Now a majority of 59 per cent are happier with the handling COVID-19. There are similar majorities in other states: Queensland 70 per cent (up 28 per cent), Victoria 66 per cent (up 21 per cent), Western Australia 75 per cent (up 22 per cent) and South Australia 58 per cent (up 11 per cent).

“Support for the government’s handling of the coronavirus rose in all states. There are now large majorities in all five of Australia’s largest states that agree the Australian government is handling the coronavirus well – up from only two a week ago,” said Ms Levine.

However, this optimistic attitude may change, considering so many feel we haven’t seen the worst this pandemic has to throw at us.

Still, Australians are less negative than they were a week ago, with 59 per cent saying worse will come over the next month, but that number has actually reduced by 26 per cent in the past week.

Fewer Australians are now afraid they or someone they know will catch the virus, with 73 per cent (down two per cent) saying they are afraid that they or someone in their family may actually become infected.

“Fewer Australians are now as worried about the virus crisis. Now a reducing majority say the ‘worst is yet to come over the next month’ and a third say the ‘situation will remain the same’,” said Ms Levine.

“These are large changes in only a week and indicate the community is becoming more positive about Australia’s response to contain and deal with the threat posed by the coronavirus.”

A quarter of Australians strongly agree they are afraid and an additional 48 per cent agree. In contrast, only four per cent strongly disagree and a further 17 per cent disagree.

A fifth of Australians think the threat from coronavirus is exaggerated – up five per cent from a week ago, compared to 75 per cent who disagree.

More men (25 per cent) than women (16 per cent) agree that the threat is exaggerated.

Four-fifths (80 per cent) of Australians say they would sacrifice their human rights to help prevent the spread of the virus – unchanged on a week ago.

And 87 per cent of Australians say they are willing to be vaccinated if a new coronavirus vaccine became publicly available.

“At this stage, the signs are definitely good that Australia has dealt swiftly and resolutely with the threat of the virus by practising social distancing and self-isolating measures even better than many had predicted would happen,” Ms Levine concluded.

YourLifeChoices has also been posing the question ‘Are you happy with how the government is handling the COVID-19 crisis?’ While we don’t have statistics that show sentiment, we do have access to what we believe is more valuable – your comments.

“Morrison has surrounded himself with experts and has taken their advice, so it could be said that he has done a good job. He has united all of the states regardless of the politics involved. With hindsight, which is always 20/20, he could have done better but I believe that he has done the best he can with the information available at the time decisions were made. I would not like his job because he has obviously aged since he took on the position of PM.

“‘How do you think our leaders are handling the pandemic?’ When leaders are mentioned, it includes the state premiers as well as the various expert panels, which are all doing a good job. With hindsight, some things may have been done differently but in general decisions, which were made with information available at the time, have been good decisions and Australia is well placed to come out of the pandemic a lot better than some other nations.” ~ Horace Cope

“I admit that he has a very hard job dealing with this crisis but too much indecision and mixed messages don’t help.” ~ Snowflake

“I do not trust him anymore than before, strange how money talks, and so his popularity goes up despite the lack of early action for bush fires and now the coronavirus. If there were actions earlier to close our borders and to test all incoming travellers we would not have had to endure all the restrictions on our movements, economical downfall, loss of jobs and the amount of anxiety people are suffering right now. So, why do people think he is better than any other prime minister beats me.” ~ Incognito

“Don’t worry, as long as he keeps asking himself, ‘What would Kevin do?’ the country will be alright.” ~ exPS

“I think it has benefited the federal government to have the states involved and pushing certain actions. It is refreshing to see co-operative politics in action.” ~ Tanker

Do these numbers and opinions reflect your attitudes?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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94 Comments

Total Comments: 94
  1. 0
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    Our govt has put sensible precautions in place and continue to keep on top of recommendations from the experts.

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    I do not consider Morrison to be an honest man; he is an opportunist. I am not saying that stimulus packages aren’t necessary in the current crisis but I well recall the hounding of the Labour party when they spent what the Liberals effectively considered to be their “pot of gold”, during the GFC. Funny how the rhetoric changes when the shoe is on the other foot! There is no surplus this time and anyone can spend a fortune on measures to deal with a crisis, when doing so virtually means writing a blank cheque for future generations to pay back. The public usually is never going to say no to hand-outs. The real test will come when the 6 month period is over and the government tries to cut back the increases in regular support payments. Our country can’t afford even more debt by leaving those increases in place. I await the howls of disapproval from the public to see how the PM handles that scenario!

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      A good overview, Monty. Whilst in the current situation, the Feds & States are doing fairly well – it’s patently clear that no Government is going to get their response perfect – there will be anomalies and people who fall through the cracks. My thoughts & fears are what happens to our Society when the Governments have to “unwind” all these measures……there is going to be “hell to pay”……it’s easier to provide assistance, but damned hard to retract it down the track……

    • 0
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      ozzie, I think of Newstart being doubled which will never be able to be halved in future as totally inadequate. Other payments may be more acceptable to be withdrawn though as they meet a temporary need.

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      Monty, a good analysis, the only thing I would say is that paying the money back concept is just a theory held by the now declining ‘economic rationalism’ ivory tower folk, whose attitudes have assisted the Neo-liberalism usurpation of much of the world.
      Now it is becoming obvious to most that Neo-liberalism with it’s belief that the super rich should rule because they are the super rich, will destroy our ability to live on our own planet, unfettered greed does not work in the long term.
      So, – what is the relevance of that to paying the money back?
      The Neo Liberals are full on into money printing, the US printed umpteen trillions of “quantitative easing” money, – it will never be paid back, as it was created out of nothing in the first place.

      Where more modern economists believe that the Oz equvalent of Quantitative easing is what should be happening and never needs to be taken back differs in that the US gave all the quantitative easing money to the big banks who nearly destroyed the world economy, – so far the Australian govt is giving it to the majority of the people, – sure the super rich have grabbed a good bit, but folk are waking up to the fact that indeed a Govt can stimulate jobs, education, build infrastructure, etc. whereas the super rich can’t, and in fact don’t even pay their taxes

      The question for the future is How do we manage it? – and as so called ‘helicopter money’ only works well if it doesn’t go overseas, as then it becomes a debt through our Trade ‘balance of payments’ we need to spend all that new money in Australia, where, by the way, it will all come back to the Government as taxes anyway, – unless the super rich get hold of it as they don’t pay taxes.

      Thus it is a huge change in our economy, with enormous potential for the future for all Australians to even have a future, and it is fascinating that the usually monetarily contractive Liberal govt is the one to bring it in, – no choice of course, and the super rich minions are already lobbying for ‘snap back’ etc. so it is important for us all to support the new paradigm, – the new process of government where the government looks after the people who elect it, not the foreign greedy greedies.

      Germany did it, before ww2, Japan did it, after ww2, also Taiwan, South Korea and finally the biggest example of all, China, – all pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps, and so can we.

    • 0
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      Well said, Monty et al. All your analysis and comments are right on the money. The Coronavirus crisis has forced a tectonic shift in our economic infrastructure and pillars. Our survival depends on apolitical cooperation under the federation, as Covid-19 doesn’t discriminate rich or poor, LNP or Labor, color or race, and border or country. What Scot Morrison has done is basically a social-economic reform to battle against the ferocity of the virus’ impact on our Australian way of life. Morrison’s government and our Parliament should be congratulated on this reform. How this reform to be made sustainable is up to all of us.

      Here is a link to the advocacy by Get-up, reflecting the sentiment of my article in this issue of YLC: –
      You may or may not agree with this advocacy. If you do agree that the reform needs sustainability, please support its aim to keep this reform as a new normal.

    • 0
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      Sorry guys. I couldn’t get the link works. I have a copy of the Get-up’s advocacy but I am not sure I can download it here.

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      What ever is Good or Bad we are doing very well so please give them some breaks is not an easy task compare with other countries ….shit give them a break this is a time for support them anyway we can ….

  3. 0
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    I think the government is doing an okay job but I think they can do better. I have written a long piece on this and will email it to YourLifeChoices.

  4. 0
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    I believe that our gvt is doing what ever the WHO tells them to regardless of the outcome
    Every nation basically has the same laws etc in place

    • 0
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      You couldn’t be more wrong, marls, the WHO slammed the Australian government for closing down flights from China and claimed that there was no need to panic. Subsequent events have shown Australia to be a leader in closing borders and the WHO being shown to be a puppet of the Chinese Communist Party.

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      Morrison didn’t close flights from china on the 18th Jan when first cases arrived. For that we have a worse situation.

  5. 0
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    The most pleasing thing in all of this is that all states and territories are acting together with the federal government to try and control the effects of this pandemic, and most people are not resorting to ideology to score political points, sadly a few will.

  6. 0
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    If anyone thinks that a PM who knew from 18th January that stopping flights from China and Chinese Airlines and didn’t is doing a good job. Also refusing financial assistance to a large group of people during a pandemic is disgraceful. Morrison failed in not one but 2 crisis situations in the last 6 months. A pitiful PM.

  7. 0
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    For anyone who has been closely observing the situation, Morrison was initially skeptical and only worried about the economy, but as the numbers started to rise and the example of Italy became known he bit the bullet and started to act.
    Initially the ‘act’ was just words, when it should have been stimulus money right from the get-go, but as time has passed his promises have turned into actions and currently he is behaving quite well. –
    He seems to do poorly as a leader, but quite well when told what to do when he has very little choice.

    In future, I believe we would do much better if no person running for parliament was allowed any monetary support at all, except the wage for doing the job, – no perks, no free this or that, particularly no money from industry groups or lobbyists of any stripe, – then they would be free to act in the public interest as quickly as needs be.

  8. 0
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    Too little too late..reactive not proactive actions, distinct lack of empathy and robotic lectures from the public servants….

  9. 0
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    In hindsight we could of done better.
    Just look at Taiwan and NZ.
    Lack of information from China, well the boss of WHO, is very friendly with them.

  10. 0
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    Could have reacted more quickly but still most assuredly would have been better than Albo. The real test is whether he can get the economy back on its feet when COVID-19 is beaten or controlled.
    Overall has little to worry about labor has largely been irrelevant and barring any unforeseen circumstances should win next federal election in 2022 – making it 8 of last 10.
    The majority of Australians are smart.
    That said labor is not all bad – that title goes to the Greens whose policies are damaging- indeed COVID-19 provides a glimpse into live as the Greens would have it should their policies ever be implemented

    • 0
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      Discon, I understand you have a political bias, but why would you think Albo would have reacted any slower than Rudd? who based on the GFC acted almost immediately?

      Albo would not have had the ideological pain that Morrison had, – which caused him to drag his feet unnecessarily, so whatever other attitudes you may have, – how can you justify an assertion that Albo would not have acted promptly?

      That is a senseless assertion, an opinion with no foundation, as far as I can see.

    • 0
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      Discon, when observing the Socialist/Communist parasites that have taken over the Labor Party its also obvious that the current situation also reflects on how a country would be under Labor.

    • 0
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      Oh please Argus if you honestly think the ALP has been taken over by Socialists & Communists you are seriously way of the mark. It would certainly indicate you know next to nothing about Socialism and/or Communism, both of which don’t work in their full manifestation. Then again Capitalism doesn’t work either when it is unrestrained.

    • 0
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      Oh please Argus if you honestly think the ALP has been taken over by Socialists & Communists you are seriously way of the mark. It would certainly indicate you know next to nothing about Socialism and/or Communism, both of which don’t work in their full manifestation. Then again Capitalism doesn’t work either when it is unrestrained.

    • 0
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      Argus, you better go searching for Reds under your bed. Some Australians really shouldn’t vote.

    • 0
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      Lookfar, it is as though SCOMO just stole the Rudd playbook on this, there is not one original idea in his whole plan. And that is probably a good thing, as long as he prefaces every decision with ” What would Kevin do?” we will be OK.
      He also has the advantage of an opposition that is willing to work for the benefit of the country and doesn’t have the cave man attitude of oppositions must oppose everything because that’s their job.

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