‘Social cohesion survey puts Abbott’s final months as PM in a new light‘, The Conversation, 29 October 2015
The author runs this annual survey and here summarises its main findings this time around. Links to the full report and to earlier surveys and commentary are here.
The Mapping Social Cohesion survey, conducted in June-July, finds continuing low levels of trust in the federal parliament and political parties. This finding is more marked in some regions of Australia than others, and is especially a feature of pubic opinion in Victoria.
The sense of social justice in Australian society declined in 2014 and further declined in 2015. For example, the proportion “strongly agreeing” that the “gap between those with high incomes and … low incomes is too large” increased from 34% in 2013 to 37% in 2014 and 44% in 2015.
On the other hand, the Index of Social Cohesion showed some improvement, if from a low base, there is less discrimination on the basis of skin colour, there is no evidence of heightened neighbourhood tensions, and opposition to the level of immigration remains stable at 35 per cent. Asylum seeker policy is strongly supported but so is multiculturalism, especially in Melbourne and Canberra.
Commentary by John Nieuwenhuysen in Pearls and Irritations blog, February 2016.