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The Issues Monitor June 2015: National

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Top issues facing Australia

“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do”. That’s a quote from Michael Porter – a preeminent authority on strategic implementation. While governments want to deliver-deliver-deliver, recent history (think Rudd circa 2008) has shown us that it is in their best interest to do a lot well, than do everything because, inevitably, history will refer to everything as being too much.

The top issues facing Australia have not changed very much in two years of Coalition government. Specifically, ‘The Economy’ has been number one on 18 of 22 possible occasions.

To put this into context, ‘The Economy’ was never the number one issue facing Australia under Gillard or Rudd. It averaged around number five. ‘Healthcare’ and, for a time, ‘Cost of Living’ topped that chart.

The paradigm shift to matters economic occurred the day the locks were changed at The Lodge and expectations were high.

In September 2013, 41% of Australians told us that the Coalition was most capable of managing Australia’s economy. One out of every four (24%) selected the ALP and 16% did not know.

By June 2014 – and just one month after their first budget – Australians’ confidence in the Coalition to manage our economy had eroded substantially, with 30% of us selecting Abbott and Co as most capable compared to 29% percent for the ALP. At that time, one out-of-five Australians (22%) did not know.  Australians were concerned that the Coalition changed too much, too quickly and that the changes were not equitable. As the saying goes, what goes up must come down but, equally, what goes down must also come up. And up it has come.

In June 2015 Australians’ confidence in the Coalition is back to levels observed around election time.

While renaissance might be too strong, perhaps premature or perhaps false, the wind is certainly at the Coalition’s back this winter regarding economic management. And perhaps this government has found the right mix of what to do and what not to do as we head towards an election in 2016.

Last updated July 2015