Essential Research: coronavirus and attitudes to China

A major souring in Australians’ attitudes to China but little change on coronavirus (at least since last week), according to the latest Essential poll.

Another week, another Essential Research coronavirus poll — this one focusing on attitudes to China, which have notably soured. As related by The Guardian, respondents were asked if they had a favourable or unfavourable view of China’s influences on Australian life, which produced a net rating of minus 30% on trade, compared with plus 1% last August, and a net rating of minus 40% for Chinese business operating in Australia, down from minus 21%. There were also scores of minus 26% for defence, minus 36% for politics and minus 9% for culture. Conversely, the United States scored net positive scores, albeit that these were quite a lot bigger for defence (plus 29%), business (plus 15%) and trade (plus 14%) than politics (plus 2%) and culture (plus 7%).

Asked which relationship would be more beneficial to strengthen, 42% favoured the US and 18% China, compared with 38% and 28% last August. Respondents had two bob each way on trade in that 53% thought Australia “needs to do all it can to avoid a trade war with China”, with 17% opposed, but 48% felt Australia should impose retaliatory tariffs, with 22% opposed. The poll found “more than half” believe China’s trade sanctions against Australia were motivated by the government’s call for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19.

The poll continued its weekly suite of questions on coronavirus, recording no change on the government’s handling of the crisis, which was rated positively by 73% and negatively by 11%. Levels of concern little changed on last week (79% either very or quite concerned, down one, and 21% either not at all or not that concerned, up one). A divide appears to be opening on restrictions, with higher responses for both lifting them as soon as possible (up five to 14%) and holding off (up two to 27%). The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1087; a full report should be published later today.

Note that below this post is a dedicated thread for the Eden-Monaro by-election, which you are encouraged to use if you have something specific to say on that subject.

UPDATE: Full report here.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

2,091 comments on “Essential Research: coronavirus and attitudes to China”

  1. Mexican

    Business will deal with a government run service that is efficient and cost effective. Thats why we had no Labour Hire companies here in a big way. The government service was that good.

    The first death knell for neo liberalism is the race to have everything privatised just to make for profit the default thinking of society to die.

    The thing about the pandemic is that having everything for profit is a bad thing.

    Even your reply shows this. Employers can’t use Labour Hire companies if workers go to the government agency.

    Just make the government agency good at what it does and bingo workers interests might just get a look in.

  2. Assantdj
    I’m talking about the mainstream labour market rather than the tinpot outfits the government pays billions to to essentially paper shuffle through a range of mutual obligations designed to make it look like they are doing something.

  3. Guytaur
    The reason why there wasn’t a recruitment industry before the 1990s wasn’t because of how good you think the CES was but was because the labour market was more structured and employers use to do the recruitment themselves because in those days only serious job seekers applied while today people are forced to apply for up to 20 jobs a month. There were recruitment agencies in certain industries.

  4. Mexican

    And you wonder why it would be a good thing for the government to run the service.

    All those fake applications just to meet so called “Mutual Obligations”.

    We know the obligation is one way. Assume the jobseeker is a crim out to defraud the government and plan on that basis. The neo liberal way. After all its what they would do.

  5. Another big science story. Missing matter in Universe found and the same method to be trialled in Oz in the hope of finding missing humanity in Federal Parliament. This would apply also to the same Aerosols.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-28/astronomers-find-universe-missing-matter/12291788

    Off to see GP. Please keep bastardry and arguments until later. Thank you.

    Onya KJ.

    Hope the doc gives you the all-clear.

    Give ’em heaps, never give a sucker an even break, and take no prisoners.

  6. Guytaur
    I don’t think the government should be running a job placement service because they don’t need to but it can differently work with the existing labour market and education sector to make job seeking easier.

  7. shellbell @ #1501 Thursday, May 28th, 2020 – 8:08 am

    ​​From the excellent Covid Data website. These young guns are onto the issue of recovery classification in Oz.

    https://www.covid19data.com.au/data-notes

    [When does an active case become a recovery?

    The answer varies across states and territories.

    The national guidelines for COVID-19 define conditions for release from isolation:

    For asymptomatic cases, at least 10 days must pass without symptoms since the first positive test sample was taken;

    For mild cases, at least 10 days must pass since the onset of symptoms, and there must have been no acute symptoms in the last 72 hours; and

    There are further conditions for people who were hospitalised or will enter high-risk settings such as health care or residential age care facilities.

    Spokespersons for ACT Health, Queensland Health and WA Health each said recoveries are determined by public health officials who monitor patient symptoms and make a determination based on the national guidelines. The Queensland Health website also refers to cases with a notification date of 30 days or more. A spokesperson for NT Health said a patient must return two consecutive negative test results. NSW Health has published recoveries are assessed three weeks after the onset of illness by interviewing the case. Cases reporting no symptoms are considered to have recovered. Cases who have not recovered at three weeks are called in the following weeks until recovery. A response is pending from SA Health. Victoria Health and Tasmania Health have not responded to questions clarifying their processes.]

    I agree it’s an excellent website, but nothing you’ve pasted here explains these numbers: According to the website, NSW currently has 370 active cases, despite only recording 233 new cases in the last 47 days.

    Clearly the data on the website does not reflect their stated process for publishing recovered cases.

  8. Mexican

    Your belief is not evidence.
    Evidence is that the Commonwealth Employment Service helped the jobseeker not the employers.

    Your own post showed the lets think of the employers not the employees.

    Thats the problem with private companies. Individuals just don’t compete. The whole multiplier factor thing most know through mass production.

  9. KayJay @ #1703 Thursday, May 28th, 2020 – 1:37 pm

    Another big science story. Missing matter in Universe found and the same method to be trialled in Oz in the hope of finding missing humanity in Federal Parliament. This would apply also to the same Aerosols.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-28/astronomers-find-universe-missing-matter/12291788

    Very interesting science. However, it depends on low density, and unfortunately our Federal Parliament is extremely dense. I suppose they could try an alternative approach of using the AFP to find the missing matter, but that probably wouldn’t work either – the AFP are hopeless at finding anything.

  10. Guytaur
    Its not a belief its based on experience.

    If you ignore what employers want which is what the current system does then you are not helping the job seeker. The government employment programs are seen as catering for the unskilled in an increasingly skilled labour market and your idea will shift the cost to the government and employ a few public servants but wont do much else.

  11. Mexican

    Its a belief. You believe in the for profit system that gives employers the whip hand.

    I believe in the Commonwealth Service style government run system that has the power of the government protecting the individual seeking a job.

    I know private companies will seek the greatest profit. After all thats the reason for its existence.

  12. P1

    If the AFP does find evidence of humanity Dutton will still not be available for an interview. He will send out Littleproud to explain that the humanity was only admitted due to the actions of State premiers and health departments.

  13. Guytaur
    It has bugger all to do with profitability but practicality and employers do matter because they are the ones hiring and they vote with their feet.

  14. So much for thinking Bucephalus might be able to get something right.

    Bucephalus says:
    Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    So much for me thinking Daniel “Hard on Corona” Andrews’ public servants would be able to effectively manage the transfer of the lady who was in quarantine to SA. Another WTF?

    From AAP:

    South Australia has called a halt to granting international travel exemptions on compassionate grounds after SA Health bungled the case of a British woman who arrived on the weekend and tested positive to COVID-19.

    Premier Steven Marshall says he wants to get to the bottom of the problem, which resulted in the woman presenting herself to authorities on arrival in Adelaide rather than being met by health officials, before allowing any further international travellers into SA in such circumstances.

    “I don’t think we should be granting any further exemptions for overseas travel to South Australia until we’ve ironed out this administrative error,” Mr Marshall said on Thursday.

    “We’re going to make sure we have air-tight systems going forward before we grant further exemptions for people coming from overseas.”

    But Mr Marshall said he did not intend to “hang SA Health out to dry” and praised the department’s overall handling of the pandemic as well as the previous arrival of international travellers.

    The premier also confirmed Police Commissioner Grant Stevens would meet the SA Health chief executive to develop new arrangements for future transfers.

    Before Sunday’s case, 21 other people had come to SA from overseas on compassionate grounds, about half to attend a funeral and the others to visit a dying relative.

    The British woman, in her 50s, was granted her exemption to visit a dying relative.

    She had spent about a week in quarantine in Victoria after arriving in Australia from the UK and had tested negative while in isolation.

    She wore a mask while travelling to SA and made herself known to airport authorities and was then escorted out by police.

    When tested again, she returned the positive result, becoming the state’s 440th case of COVID-19 and the first for almost three weeks.

    The woman was returned to quarantine while almost 20 close contacts were also ordered into self-isolation.

    After initially saying Victorian officials did not tell them when the woman would arrive, Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier issued a statement on Thursday conceding the flight information was passed on.

    “Due to an administrative oversight, we can confirm the relevant flight details involving an overseas traveller arriving in South Australia were provided to SA Health prior to their arrival,” Professor Spurrier said.

    “What this issue has highlighted is the need to strengthen the processes involving travellers arriving from overseas and travelling between states during their quarantine period.”

    After SA’s initial comments, Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said South Australia was told of the woman’s travel details and he had the email to prove it.

    “I’m not sure why there is a misunderstanding about having been informed, but that email was sent and South Australian authorities were alerted about the time and flight details,” Professor Sutton said.

  15. Socrates @ #1713 Thursday, May 28th, 2020 – 1:57 pm

    If the AFP does find evidence of humanity Dutton will still not be available for an interview. He will send out Littleproud to explain that the humanity was only admitted due to the actions of State premiers and health departments.

    Surely even the AFP would not be stupid enough to look for humanity anywhere near Dutton? Even our pygmy-brained media would realize they were just having a laugh!

  16. Spray

    I agree the NSW health approach on recoveries can only be understand by a lot of assumptions.

    One assumption is that a sufferer who says he/she is not feeling fully well when contacted after 3 weeks or some longer interval remains active.

    I was more praising Covid Data for trying to find out what the different approaches are which generates:

    (a) the NSW position of 370 active cases off 233 cases in the last 47 days versus.
    (b) Victoria with 61 active cases off 283 cases in the last 28 days.

  17. Guytaur
    Without the employer there is no job.

    A CES was not able to force people to hire someone and a new version of it would not force anyone to hire someone. If the government was serious then it would use its resources to support job seekers in today’s labour market.

  18. Mexican

    There you go again. Without the worker there is no labour. Thats why unions have these things called strikes. Its the most effective use of power workers have.

    Government is supposed to serve people not business.
    We know the government run service was better for the people and that employers coped.
    So to use an economic term all things being equal the government should run the service to protect people.

  19. Just highlighting this so Buce doesn’t miss it 🙂

    After initially saying Victorian officials did not tell them when the woman would arrive, Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier issued a statement on Thursday conceding the flight information was passed on.

    “Due to an administrative oversight, we can confirm the relevant flight details involving an overseas traveller arriving in South Australia were provided to SA Health prior to their arrival,” Professor Spurrier said.

    “What this issue has highlighted is the need to strengthen the processes involving travellers arriving from overseas and travelling between states during their quarantine period.”

    After SA’s initial comments, Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said South Australia was told of the woman’s travel details and he had the email to prove it.

    Looks like it’s actually Scatterbrain Steve who is the problem if we’re going to single out Premiers for anything that goes wrong in their state.

  20. Guytaur
    LOL huh seriously you must know that its the employer that hires the employee because its the employer that wants to make use of the employees skills and expertise.

  21. Cat

    That’s the SA Health we all know and love! But why didn’t that unpopular monster Andrews accept the blame for SA’s error? I’d still like to know who in SA granted the travel entry exemption?

  22. Mexican

    Again you prove you don’t get what the pandemic proved. It was supply that failed that included the supply of Labour. The demand from Employers was there.

    Yes I capitalised labour to make the point for you.

    We live in changed times. We now know for a fact labour is required for a business to work. The boss cannot run a business without it.

    Something that should have been a no brainer but to you neo liberal mob its not.

  23. Imagine my surprise to find that this now charged alleged identity thief and fraudster ($13.5 million missing) was a former SA Liberal Party staffer??

    I’m shocked, shocked I say, to find evidence of such behaviour among Liberal staffers.

    “Mr Jones is a former South Australian state Liberal Party media and policy adviser. Police allege he was “self-taught” in his understanding of cybertechnology.”

    They must have very vigorous vetting processes. Perhaps he thought, “if you have ago, you’ll get a go”?
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/ex-liberal-party-staffer-faces-51-new-charges-over-alleged-13-5m-identity-theft-20200528-p54x6t.html

  24. Wow.
    So they granted a rare exemption to travel restrictions to a person travelling from the UK and in quarantine in Melbourne – with no details on how that person was coming into Adelaide.

    Then held back for a day from alerting the media the positive test. Then announced the positive test with no mention of the fact the woman had to call them to say ‘hey, I am here at the airport, where is the welcoming committee’.

    Then releases a review today admitting there was a stuff up but saying Victoria didnt tell them about the details and couldnt answer questions as to why they gave approval without the details being given first – saying simply that they ‘followed processes’.

    Then backtracked AGAIN saying that in fact they did get the details.

    1stly, I think some on here might like to lay off my assertions that our bureaucrats may, just may be incompetent.

    2ndly, please, SAHealth and all other agencies and departments involved in this pandemic – just be open and honest – in the first instance and always. We want to have faith in you – so stop the spin and deceit. Leave that to the politicians.

    lastly, OMFG. Emails!!!! You leave this sort of thing to emails? FFS! Same in Perth. This is a pandemic. Follow your damn emails up with a phone call to a real person who has some authority. Or does such a thing not exist?

    lastly lastly – it would be a shame that this jeopardises relaxing restrictions in some circumstances on compassionate grounds. The talk on talkback is we should be mean arsed about such things in the future.

  25. Mexicanbeemer
    Why does it have to be all the employers way, that leads to a constant race to the bottom.
    Lots of people who are unemployed really want to work, so the labour firm finds them a job. The worker wants the job to become permanent so works to be the perfect employee, doesn’t take sick leave, doesn’t complain about safety breaches, doesn’t join the union, bends over backwards. At the end of six months applies for permanency as the enterprise bargaining agreement allows. Next week performance managed, rates too slow or toilet break too long. Then surprise surprise not rostered next week or the week after. So let’s go rinse and repeat. It is an inhuman system designed to force people to live in constant anxiety so the owner can scrap an extra bit of profit.

    How about companies being forced to tie pay and conditions to profit, that would be a win win.

  26. Guytaur
    Huh the recent spike in unemployment is because parts of the economy were closed. You are confusing two separate issues that your beloved CES would not solve because it cannot force someone to hire someone else.

  27. Socrates

    Of course it’s all Daniel Andrew’s fault that there is a pandemic.
    It’s all due to Victoria entering into a MOU last year with China

    Thankfully with the help of US secretary of state, the Murdoch press here in Australia revealed a bombshell that the Chinese allowed virus to escape wuhan lab.
    So China are now triggered, the US are flexing their muscles, and Australias partisanship has us wedged.

    So now the Victorian govt have a lot to answer for.

    You know it makes sense.

  28. Looks like it’s actually Scatterbrain Steve who is the problem if we’re going to single out Premiers for anything that goes wrong in their state.

    It is both. But you would think as SA have the most to lose with this person coming in, and it was they who approved her exemption to their own rules… they should have been more proactive.

    My suspicion is there has been a prolonged and deliberate degeneration of responsibility chains in the hierarchy of many departments (happens in private companies too). Too many high up chiefs who have become too good at taking the credit and dissolving the blame to others.

    I didnt want Marshall to win but I did hope his win would put a big bristly broom through a couple of departments. SAHealth being No1.

  29. C@tmomma @ #1722 Thursday, May 28th, 2020 – 12:12 pm

    Just highlighting this so Buce doesn’t miss it 🙂

    After initially saying Victorian officials did not tell them when the woman would arrive, Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier issued a statement on Thursday conceding the flight information was passed on.

    “Due to an administrative oversight, we can confirm the relevant flight details involving an overseas traveller arriving in South Australia were provided to SA Health prior to their arrival,” Professor Spurrier said.

    “What this issue has highlighted is the need to strengthen the processes involving travellers arriving from overseas and travelling between states during their quarantine period.”

    After SA’s initial comments, Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said South Australia was told of the woman’s travel details and he had the email to prove it.

    Looks like it’s actually Scatterbrain Steve who is the problem if we’re going to single out Premiers for anything that goes wrong in their state.

    I’d say they probably need better communication links.

    Was it a unique email account, or one with more general use?

    Information like this is certainly not something you want to get missed in the clutter of other messages.

    Also were relevant people CC’d?

    Much harder to miss when multiple people receive it.

  30. Assantdj
    Pay and conditions are entirely different to what i am talking about.

    I am talking about the hiring process which is driven by the employer.

    A CES wouldn’t be in the business of monitoring pay and conditions because that is the Industrial Relations system’s job.

  31. Mexican

    It may have escaped your notice. People are not in work place because of a virus.

    Business and the economy has collapsed because of the wholesale withdrawal of labour. World wide.

    Thats the pandemic story of economics

    Edit: People count. They must be included in the business model.

  32. Victoria
    “Of course it’s all Daniel Andrew’s fault that there is a pandemic.
    It’s all due to Victoria entering into a MOU last year with China ”

    Indeed. The only person more responsible for this whole affair than Daniel Andrews is Jeff Kennett. Bloody Jeff. Also Bill Shorten has questions to answer, as Janet Albrechtsen would say reflexively.

  33. Mexican

    It has everything to do with it. You are arguing employer and business is all. Just because I argued that government run employment services protect jobseekers from exploitation by private companies.
    Companies that have a vested interest in exploiting workers. To do so increases their profit.

    As I said you are arguing for profit is everything.

  34. Guytaur
    A government run employment service would do nothing of the sort and it doesn’t deal with the problem of finding a job that is suitable for that job seeker.

  35. Has Quoll been around to deny the Greens’ population policy and to implicitly assert that there is no actual link between their failure to actually have a population target and ALL the related targets in the Green New Deal and ALL the underpinnings for the hundreds of billions in populist spending programs announced by Bandt the other day?
    Yes.

    Did Quoll accompany this with the customary personal Greens abuse?
    Yes.

    The official Greens policy position on migration is a set of principles and to have a debate.

    In other words the schisms inside the Greens on migration policy are so deep that all they can afford to commit to is to have a debate.

    In other words, the Greens migration policy is essentially BAU with a leaning in all their public utterances to more, not less, migration.

    In other words, the Greens are committed de facto to the migration ponzi scheme which has already generated massive debits in air, water, soil and biodiversity sustainability.

    There you have it: ‘a community debate about population’.

    There are no numbers. Nothing concrete.

    In the absence of something firm on population, the Green New Deal is a scam.

    https://greens.org.au/policies/population

  36. Simon Katich

    “lastly lastly – it would be a shame that this jeopardises relaxing restrictions in some circumstances on compassionate grounds. The talk on talkback is we should be mean arsed about such things in the future.”

    I agree with all of your post except this bit. Unfortunately a person let in by a compassionate exemption is just as likely to infect as anyone else. Lots of people are being denied all sorts of personal hopes and dreams by not travelling at present, from separated families to delayed weddings. What was so special about this person? (I personally know another SA friend who was unable to see a dying mother-in-law because of Covid19 restrictions.)

    If there are going to be any judgement calls it should be about the risk and origin of the person, not their reasons for travel. UK, USA and Brazil are the last places we should be letting people in from right now. None of them have Covid19 under control, so all coming from those countries should be suspect. Exemptions for people from NZ or South Korea might have made more sense.

  37. Mexican

    You are wrong The Commonwealth Employment Service existed. It worked.

    You may not like it. You can offer up all kind of excuses. You can’t chang the facts of history.

  38. Guytaur
    It was not in the business of monitoring workplace conditions.

    Yes the changing facts of history like Texas is going socialist.

  39. Mexican

    Yes you keep arguing that the biggest withdrawal of labour in world history had nothing to do with closing down business world wide.

    You keep arguing the Commonwealth Employment Service did not exist and that when it did it did not work.

    Keep it up. I think you are convincing a lot of people a government run Jobseeker agency is exactly the way to go.

  40. It would be interesting to see what the percentages are of people coming in from OS who test positive, list by Country of origin.

    It may give a better indication of infection rates within different Countries?

  41. In the event of Palmer being successful in the High Court over border closures would, I wonder, be compliant with such a ruling that a state could declare an area bounded by lines one metre inside the borders as an intrastate infection control area and apply the same movement and quarantine rules that currently are being used.
    It’s only a matter of size inside the borders, isn’t it?

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