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. Know a worker who has been full time casual with same boss for five years. Eight outlets, 200 plus staff. Employer refused to apply for job keeper. Sent all to apply for job seeker, $400 less per fortnight than job keeper. More problems will happen end of August when assistance sees unemployment & jobseeker reduced. Typical bastard boss, wouldn’t go to bank to cover two weeks till Govt paid up.
    I’ve heard the Foodies Union is actually run by employers and achieved nothing for affected members.

  2. Fargo61 @ #1757 Thursday, May 28th, 2020 – 2:49 pm

    Hi Player One,
    I hope you don’t mind me posting again about this, but based on your reply yesterday, my own recollection ….

    I don’t mind at all – it sounds like you actually know what you are talking about!

    I can see the relevance of your examples – they would certainly seem to apply to our case. My understanding from what Centrelink told us is that this is precisely where we came unstuck …

    the annual rate should be divided into 26 equal instalments and then treated as ordinary income in each fortnight.

    My understanding is also that this alone would not have pushed us over the line, but it apparently did once Centrelink added JobKeeper to it, which I started receiving in April.

    We provided very detailed accounts of our monthly income for the past 12 months – and also the previous 12 months for comparison – to Centrelink. After reading your post, I am thinking now that one problem we face is that (because we are now in an off-peak season) our current income is actually not far off our normal income for this time of year. So, on paper, there appears to be little or no current income loss.

    So on the one hand, it does seem Centrelink may be applying their own rules correctly. But on the other hand, these rules do not appear to take into account the catastrophic income loss we faced during our peak period (December through March) – a loss which won’t show up in our tax returns until the end of the financial year. And I suppose to Centrelink that seems fair enough – they are not responsible for compensating us for that particular loss – we should have had access to various other bushfire-related schemes for that – but we could not seem to get much relief there either (and we were by no means alone in that!).

    In both cases it seems to come back to the fact that various federal government departments seem ill-equipped to deal adequately with highly variable incomes, such as you get when you rely on seasonal trade for income. According to our local MP’s office they are aware of this problem, but are apparently not in a hurry to fix it.

    Given that the end of the financial year is now only a month away, I am thinking that we should get our tax returns done ASAP – which will document the loss of income – and then ask to be re-assessed at that point.

  3. Mexican

    The reason the Commonwealth Employment Service was ended was to enable the rorts. Thats the point.

    With a government agency their are independent auditors in place to look after tax dollars.
    From when a person presents with a card at the counter to when they get a job.

    Accountability and protection for the jobseeker and the employer through the whole process. Not a one sided system like we have with the private for profit system.

  4. 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.

  5. Mexicanbeemer
    If you take away the payments for placing workers labour hire companies would no longer have a viable business model.
    So are you proposing regulations to limit payments because we know the Libs love red tape or do we go back to a government system to help the unemployed pursue real jobs. Or do we just pay unemployment to anyone eligible and stop demonising them.

  6. The problem isn’t tax dollars the problem is most jobs are not filled through the government system.

    Because we don’t really have a govt system that tries.

    All the effort and investment is in punishing people for being unemployed, of course it isn’t finding them jobs.

  7. Mexican

    The problem is that people are forced to jump through hoops applying for non existent jobs.

    There are more people than jobs available. Thats why its called an unemployment rate.

    We used to fix this by excluding 50% of the workforce on gender and calling it full employment.
    Now we recognise everyone having the right to financial independence and have an unemployment rate.
    The only way to stop rorting is to recognise that only those that want and are able to work should apply for jobs. Abolish Mutual Obligations and recognise that only the keenest are going to be working.

    No matter what fudging a government comes up with its not going to change simple mathematics.

  8. WeWantPaul
    That is right and because the government makes plenty of noise about its so called huge bludger problem that most employers see it has being the dregs of the labour market. A government agency wont change that because employers are so conditioned.

  9. Guytaur
    Most people do not find employment through the centrelink system because there is a whole labour market beyond it that is why many people are experiencing their first taste of centrelink.

  10. Mexican

    Part of the rorting is to defund proper government service in job placement agencies. This so government payment recipients are basically forced to go to private providers while the government claims it is giving people choice.

    Its very easy for a government to make sure the quality difference is starkly in favour of private.

  11. Hahahahaha!!!!!!!!!

    It was Aussies that shafted Trump

    @danielhurstbne tweets

    Questions have been raised by Australian infectious disease researchers about a study published in the Lancet which prompted the World Health Organization to halt global trials of the drug hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19, reveals @MelissaLDavey https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/may/28/questions-raised-over-hydroxychloroquine-study-which-caused-who-to-halt-trials-for-covid-19

  12. Guytaur
    There is a whole generation of HR that read textbooks which describe the government system as a source of unskilled labour.

  13. Guytaur
    Imagine if we had a service whereby anyone wanting a job, even to change jobs could register. This service would also have data on real time jobs available and where those jobs where, industries that were needing new skills, knew where and what skills and knowledge new industries needed. It could then help the person by assessing their suitability for those employment options. It could even link them to skills providers to pursue their options.

    Maybe something like the old CES, the question of course is would it be cost effective when measured against what we have now. Done properly it would smash the idea that unemployment is as low as the government tells us it is.

  14. Assantdj

    Yes that would be great. With real numbers and real income for those numbers we might even see a reduction in homelessness and begging.

    A government providing a Universal Basic Income has no incentive to hide real unemployment figures.

  15. The Greens vote percentage is higher than that of the Nationals.

    The Libkin effectively work for the election of LibNats and LibNation. These latter parties can represent the LibKin in public affairs. They have a shared political interest – the defeat of Labor. The LibKin can hardly complain when their political cousins, whom they’ve helped elect to office time and again, are called on to voice their opinions.

  16. Maybe Palmer is trying to make Hanson irrelevant.

    At least SA, Tas and NT seem safe from a Palmer visit at this time! 🙂

    Clive Palmer adds Queensland to high court border challenge
    Maybe Pauline Hanson doesn’t even need to bother with her crowdfunding now – Clive Palmer has decided he’ll take Queensland to the high court at the same time as WA over the border closures (from AAP).

    Billionaire Clive Palmer is taking on his home state as well as Western Australia over their border closures.

    Palmer announced the addition of Queensland to his high court challenge ahead of a directions hearing on Thursday afternoon, saying the border closures were unconstitutional and discriminatory.

    He hopes documents and submissions will be filed by 26 June so the matter can be heard soon.

    Palmer says he is confident the high court will agree WA’s border closure is an “act of stupidity” while the state government says it is also confident of defending the challenge.

    Palmer says Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is “locking away the fruits of Queensland such as the Great Barrier Reef and other treasures from interstate visitors”.

    Both states are adamant they will keep their borders closed for many months.

    The Guardian blog

  17. guytaur says:
    Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 4:00 pm
    Hahahahaha!!!!!!!!!

    It was Aussies that shafted Trump

    You clearly have either misread or not read the item linked.

  18. Briefly

    Questions have been raised by Australian infectious disease researchers about a study published in the Lancet which prompted the World Health Organisation to halt global trials of the drug hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19.

    From the article.

    I think its very clear. Thus my conclusion Aussies shafted Trump. You can disagree but I am happy with my conclusion.

  19. From an employer’s perspective mutual obligations is a pain in the ass. Where once you got 20 applications you now get 70. First job is to attempt to weed out those that are not interested in the job. It wastes every-bodies time and increases the risk you will miss the person that is interested in the type of work on offer.

  20. frednk
    says:
    Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 4:18 pm
    From an employer’s perspective mutual obligations is a pain in the ass. Where once you got 20 applications you now get 70. First job is to attempt to weed out those that are not interested in the job. It wastes every-bodies time and increases the risk you will miss the person that is interested in the type of work on offer.
    ________________________
    Indeed. And even more of a waste are these jobnetwork or jobservices people who harass unemployed people. I assume there are thousands of these people, whose job is to monitor and corral people without jobs. An absurdity!

  21. The amount of time rich bastards spend running off to court at the drop of a hat says something deeply disturbing about our society.

  22. Mr Ed at 3.37pm,

    Without going into any specifics around individual cases and employers one of the main faults with jobkeeper is the length of time between employers applying to have their staff receive the subsidy and the government actually paying it to the employer.

    Large numbers of employers across the country have had their business and their incomes ripped away from them overnight by the introduction of industry and sector close downs. The wage subsidy was not paid to employers until early May. Employers , therefore, had to front up with four to six weeks of wages for their eligible staff before they got paid. If a employer has 10 eligible staff he would have to find $7500 a week for up to six weeks to pay his staff. This would be at the same time as their business income collapsed and business owners had their own bills to pay for home mortgage, food in their own table etc. Taking out a bank loan on top of all this was simply a bridge too far. Waiting until May was far too long a wait for many business owners so the easiest thing to do was close down. Not the fault of the business but all to do with the design of jobkeeper.

    The other major flaw with jobkeeper was the eligibility criteria imposed on business to start with and the uncertainty faced by business owners as to whether they would qualify even if their staff did. Paying thousands of dollars a week to staff and then finding out you, as a business owner, may not qualify, was also a big turnoff for business.

    The whole “$60 billion ATO calculation stuff up “ meme put forward by the government was, in the main, bullshit.

    The two big reasons why 3.5 million workers were receiving jobkeeper and not the 6 million as modelled by Treasury was because Treasury did notfactor in the time lapse between business applying for jobkeeper and actually receiving the subsidy for staff being far too long and,secondly, the business eligibility criteria being too complex.

    Both of which were design flaws. Jobkeeper was rushed and the $60 billion / 3 million workers short stuff up was down to that.

    Cheers to you.

  23. Michael Pascoe
    @MichaelPascoe01
    2h
    “Transport magnate Peter Abeles told me he paid Hawke’s mortgage and his children’s school fees,” reports Pru Goward.
    Abeles – a knighthood from Askin, an RBA board seat from Hawke.

    Denise Allen @denniallen
    32m
    That rumour has been around for ages. Nothing new there. Why has Goward brought it up now when Bob is not here to defend himself? Why didn’t she do it when he was alive? #CowardGoward #auspol #MSM

  24. The Right are very, very good at spreading propaganda:

    I’ve heard the Foodies Union is actually run by employers and achieved nothing for affected members.

    ‘I’ve heard’. How very Trumpy, Mr Ed.

  25. lizzie @ #1831 Thursday, May 28th, 2020 – 4:26 pm

    Michael Pascoe
    @MichaelPascoe01
    2h
    “Transport magnate Peter Abeles told me he paid Hawke’s mortgage and his children’s school fees,” reports Pru Goward.
    Abeles – a knighthood from Askin, an RBA board seat from Hawke.

    Denise Allen @denniallen
    32m
    That rumour has been around for ages. Nothing new there. Why has Goward brought it up now when Bob is not here to defend himself? Why didn’t she do it when he was alive? #CowardGoward #auspol #MSM

    Yes, but what did Pru get for being a very, very close personal friend of John Howard? 😉

  26. Guytaur

    The WHO halted the trial,due to report in Lancet which the Australian group are not entirely convinced with.

    How praytel does that translate to Australia shafting Trump?
    Please explain

  27. Michael Pascoe
    @MichaelPascoe01
    2h
    “Transport magnate Peter Abeles told me he paid Hawke’s mortgage and his children’s school fees,” reports Pru Goward.
    Abeles – a knighthood from Askin, an RBA board seat from Hawke.
    _______________
    Shouldn’t be too hard to investigate. Fascinating if true. Of course even if Abeles told Goward it doesn’t mean it happened.

  28. guytaur, you’ve drawn the opposite conclusion from that which is intended to be conveyed. The syntax in the G’s article is confusing. It should say:

    The Lancet published an article that caused WHO to suspend their trial.
    Australian doctors questioned the validity of the data used in the Lancet article.

    The inference is that the Lancet article – on which WHO have relied – is dubious.

    Australian doctors have not undermined Trump. They have questioned the validity of the data used to justify the suspension of the drug trial that Trump has promoted.


  29. guytaur says:
    Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    frednnk

    I hope that means employers will help pressure government to end mutual obligations.

    When the system was introduced the point was made very loudly by business bodies . Their view was ignored. It has encouraged the use of external hiring, let them sort it out. Hiring people is very very very difficult.

  30. History is history.

    The Morrison Government is the most corrupt Federal Government since Federation.
    Morrison is living the Big Lie.
    Just keep that in mind every time he opens his mouth.

  31. Important distinction.

    Samantha Maiden
    @samanthamaiden
    ·
    3h
    ASIC has just told Parliament it was advised rather than consulted about the Morrison Governent’s plans to allow more early accesss to super and was not asked to provide any analysis of the risks

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