Critical services

CEDA poll: South Australians happier at work; rank energy issues as more important

Energy issues including strong regulation of energy security are more important to South Australians compared to other states, while South Australians are more satisfied with their jobs, according to results of a nation-wide poll.

The SA results, being released in Adelaide 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.
In releasing the SA results, CEDA Chief Executive Melinda Cilento said they show, in line with the national results, the majority of people in SA do not feel they have gained from economic growth and they place a high level of importance on government services, in addition to being focused on energy issues.

“Fifty-three per cent of SA respondents were more likely to feel like they have not gained, or don’t know if they have gained from Australia’s record run of economic growth,” she said.

“Australia has now had 27 years of uninterrupted economic growth but most Australians, including many South Australians, don’t feel like they are getting ahead.

“Stagnant incomes and cost of living pressures 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.”

CEDA Chief Economist Jarrod Ball said on the work front South Australians are happier than their state counterparts with almost every aspect of work. 

“More South Australians were satisfied with their level of pay, training and development opportunities, career progression opportunities and conditions in the workplace compared to the national population,” he said.

“The only area South Australians ranked slightly below the national result was benefits such as superannuation, sick pay and holiday pay.

“South Australians were also more satisfied with their work/life balance compared to the national results, from travel time to work, ability to work from home to flexibility to take leave. 

“Average weekly earnings are slightly lower in SA compared to other states, but the greater work/life balance, seems to be resulting in a happier workforce.”

On the national issues of greatest importance, Mr Ball said South Australians were 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; and high quality and choice of aged care services.

However, he said they placed greater importance on energy security and slightly greater importance on government support for renewable energy than other states. While still considered of high importance, they placed slightly less importance on tough criminal laws and criminal sentences.

“Given the issues around energy security in SA it is unsurprising that these issues rank highly for South Australians,” he said.

“These results underline the importance that the community places on energy policies that support reliability, affordability and lower emissions.”

Mr Ball said the top personal issues in SA 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.

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

Download: South Australia 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.;