Law and order issues and a higher minimum wage are stronger priorities for Victorians than the rest of the country, according to data released today by the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia.
Surprisingly, despite Melbourne’s strong population growth, the length of the work commute is seen as relatively unimportant. Victorians are slightly more likely to have a commute of less than one hour compared to the national average.
The Victorian results, being released in Melbourne on Tuesday, are part of a major national poll commissioned by CEDA for the report Community pulse 2018: the economic disconnect. The national poll of 3000 people explores who has gained from Australia’s record run of economic growth, the issues they see as most important, and their attitudes to work.
Yet despite a few noticeable differences between Victoria and the rest of the country, the state data largely reflect the national average.
In releasing the Victorian results, CEDA Chief Executive Melinda Cilento said in line with the national results the majority of Victorians do not feel like they have gained, or don’t know if they have gained, from economic growth.
On the national issues of greatest importance, Cilento said Victorians were in line with the national results placing greatest importance on high quality and accessible public hospitals, strong regulation to limit foreign ownership of Australian land and assets, increased pension payments, high quality and choice of aged care services, and high quality and accessible public schools.
However, Victorians are more likely to rate tough criminal laws and criminal sentences of high importance.
“In the top personal issues, reduced violence in homes and communities rated higher in Victoria than other states, along with a higher minimum wage, which suggests that Victorians are more concerned about law and order issues than other states,” Cilento said.
“The other top personal issues again aligned nationally with reliable, low cost basic health services; reliable, low cost essential services; access to stable and affordable housing; affordable, high quality chronic disease services; rating as of high importance.
“Much like the other states, the expectation that government should provide the services fundamental to the quality of life in Australia remains strong.
“On the work front, Victorians place greater importance on job training and development and flexible conditions.
“Victorians are spending slightly longer commuting when compared with the national results but interestingly rated commuting times as unimportant.
“Perhaps major infrastructure works underway are helping reduce concern.
“In the workplace, Victorians are more optimistic about new technology in their job and less concerned technology will replace them when compared to the national results.”