Critical services

CEDA national poll: NSW less concerned about crime, commuting times of low importance

NSW respondents to a nation-wide poll were more likely to feel they had gained from Australia’s record run of economic growth compared to other states, but the majority still felt they had not gained or didn’t know if they had gained.

In releasing the NSW results, CEDA Chief Executive Melinda Cilento said NSW respondents were in line with national results but the surprise results from NSW were that they placed less importance on tough criminal laws and criminal sentences compared to other states and rated commuting times as of low importance.

The NSW results, being released in Sydney today, are part of a major national poll commissioned by CEDA for the report Community pulse 2018: the economic disconnect. The poll explored who has gained from Australia’s record run of economic growth; their most important issues personally and to the nation; and attitudes to work.

“Overall NSW respondents were slightly more likely to feel like they have gained (47 per cent compared to 45 per cent nationally) from Australia’s record run of economic growth. However, the majority of NSW respondents – 53 per cent – do not think they have gained at all or don’t know if they have gained,” she said.

“Australia has now had 27 years of uninterrupted economic growth, but most Australians don’t feel like they are getting ahead, and NSW is no different, despite accounting for a third of the national economy and unemployment running below 5 per cent.

“The level of disconnect to Australia’s record run of growth was surprising nationally but the NSW result was particularly unexpected.

“Sluggish wages and cost of living pressures in some areas are likely factors but regardless, we need to do better at connecting communities’ expectations and aspirations with economic benefits.

“This will ensure there is support for the economic development and reform needed to keep Australia competitive.

“On the job front NSW respondents were more satisfied with every aspect of their work compared to the national results, in particular in areas such as level of pay and benefits such as superannuation, sick and holiday pay.

“On work/life balance 61 per cent of NSW respondents were satisfied with their travel time to and from work, 68 per cent were satisfied with their flexibility to take personal leave and 66 per cent of people were satisfied with their flexibility to take holidays, in line with national results.

“While traffic congestion in Sydney receives a lot of attention, interestingly most respondents in NSW were happy with their travel time for work and commuting times also ranked as of low importance. Commuting times raked in the bottom five issues of 30, when respondents were asked to rank personal issues of importance.

“Major infrastructure works underway in Sydney may be helping to reduce concern.

“When looking for work, consistent with national results, conditions in the workplace were of greatest importance. However, NSW respondents placed greater importance on above average pay, perhaps reflecting the stronger labour market in NSW.”

On the national issues of greatest importance, Ms Cilento said NSW was 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/assets; increased pension payments; high quality and choice of aged care services; and high quality and accessible public schools.

“The top personal issues in NSW 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; and reduced violence in homes and communities, rating as of high importance,” she said.

“Access to stable and affordable housing while in the top across the nation, ranked as of higher importance in NSW, most likely reflecting the higher housing costs in NSW.

“Overall in NSW, much like the other states, the expectation that government should provide the services fundamental to the quality of life in Australia remains strong.”

Read and download: Community pulse 2018: the economic disconnect.

Download: New South Wales results 
Download: National results, CEDA’s report Community pulse 2018: the economic disconnect.

Data interactives

Explore key insights from CEDA's Community pulse report and check out our interactives. 

Report launch

Watch the launch for Community pulse 2018: the economic disconnect report.


About CEDA

CEDA – the Committee for Economic Development of Australia – is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation.

We identify policy issues that matter for Australia’s future. We work to drive policies that deliver better economic, social and environmental outcomes for Australia. We deliver on our purpose by: Leveraging insights from our members to identify and understand the most important issues Australia faces. Facilitating collaboration and idea sharing to invoke imaginative, innovative and progressive policy solutions. Providing a platform to stimulate thinking, raise new ideas and debate critical and challenging issues. Influencing decision makers in government, business and the community by delivering objective information and expert analysis and advocating in support of our positions. CEDA's membership spans every state and territory and includes Australia's leading businesses, community organisations, government departments and academic institutions. The organisation was founded in 1960 by leading economist Sir Douglas Copland, and his legacy of applying economic analysis to practical problems to aid the development of Australia continues as we celebrate 60 years of influence, reform and impact across the nation.;