Climate change is leading concern for Aussie voters

Canberra: Climate change and the environment have emerged as the biggest concern for Australian voters, according to a new survey.

The Trust Issues survey, published by JWS Research on Friday, said that post-election optimism for the governing Coalition has faded and anxiety levels over the stagnating economy have grown, Xinhua news agency reported.

The survey conducted from November 6 to 11 revealed a significant shift in voters’ priorities since the election.

When asked to identify their top three issues of concern, 34 per cent of the respondents said it was environment and climate, followed by hospitals, healthcare and ageing (28 per cent), employment and wages (22 per cent) and the economy (20 per cent).

In the previous survey in June, one month after the election, only 22 per cent of voters identified climate change as a concern.

The governing Liberal National Party Coalition and Prime Minister Scott Morrison have faced criticism for refusing to pursue ambitious climate change policies.

The poll was taken amid debates about the links between climate change and catastrophic bushfires that have devastated much of Australia’s east coast, killing four people.

When respondents were given a list of 20 potential concerns and asked to rate them in order of importance, climate change and the environment came fourth behind cost of living, health and employment and wages.