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Issues Monitor June 2014: New South Wales

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Top Issues Facing New South Wales 

In the second quarter of 2014 we saw the NSW community return to a more familiar headspace with some reshuffling of the issues of concern that saw healthcare return to the top spot (44%) in terms of the being the most important issue facing NSW. This was then followed be a cluster of three issues, namely cost of living (30%), housing (30%) and crime (29%), with unemployment rounding out the top five (25%), marginally ahead of transport (24%) and education (24%).

The re-ordering of the top issues was perhaps not unexpected given speculation around spending cuts in the federal budget in April and the delivery of the budget in 2014. The planned Medicare co-payment and subsequent discussion around the likely impact on the hospital system have no doubted heightened concern about healthcare at a both a national and State level.

The other key movement we saw in the second quarter was in relation to education, with almost a quarter of the NSW community listing it as one of the three most important issues facing NSW. This is its highest level seen we have began monitoring these issues in 2010. Again it is likely that the federal budget has played a role here with significant media attention being given to the changes to university funding and fees and the impact that may have on the affordability of higher education in Australia. The negativity surrounding the Federal government’s decision to scrap the final two years of the Better Schools finding agreement is also likely to have contributed to this increased community focus on Education.

Last updated August 2014