Most Australians want the borders open for Christmas

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Most Australians appear to be looking forward to a Christmas in which they can travel to see loved ones or just take a break after the shattering year that was 2020, with 58% supporting the Prime Minister’s call for all borders to be opened by Christmas. However, many still remain highly cautious, with 42% disagreeing with the PM.

This week’s SEC Newgate Research survey of nearly 1,200 people, taken Monday 7 to Wednesday 9 September, also explored Victorians’ polarised reactions to the lockdown extension. A slender majority of 53% thought Premier Andrews’ roadmap was ‘appropriate’ while a sizeable minority (33%, or one in three) regarded it as ‘too slow and cautious’. A further 10% felt it was ‘too fast and risky’ while 3% didn’t know. Two thirds (66%) believed the roadmap is ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ easy to understand but 28% found it confusing. SEC Newgate will continue to monitor sentiment around the lockdown. Nationally, optimism continues to rise: 52% now believe the economy will improve in a year, up significantly from 46% last week, and predictions for the spread of the virus also continue to improve steadily.


We found support for border openings significantly increased in the past week. Some two thirds (64%) now say our state borders should be opened within three months (up from 57%) while 58% say our border with New Zealand should be open in this time frame (up from 49%).


State differences

  • While coronavirus remains the top prompted concern of Australians with 81% ‘quite’ or ‘extremely’ concerned about it, that figure was 88% among Victorians.
  • Meanwhile, on the economy, nationally 81% said they were “extremely” or “quite” concerned when prompted, but concern about the economy was considerably higher in NSW (88%) and lower in Victoria (80%).
  • While all Australians are less enamoured of government (nearly three quarters or 71% still agree that the restrictions are generally fair and reasonable, down from 81% four weeks ago), approval is particularly low amongst Victorians (61%).

Melbourne grind

This week there was an increase in the proportion who have personally experienced more mental health issues than usual in the last week (23% up from 18% two weeks ago) or more arguments or tension at home (18% up from 13%) and these results are significantly higher in Victoria (33% and 26% experiencing them respectively). 51% of those in Victoria agree the restrictions are making their day-to-day life very difficult.

Summer fears are back

Concern about bushfires, drought and water supply is rising as we enter spring: 65% now say they are quite’ or ‘extremely’ concerned about bushfires (up from 60% three weeks ago) while concern with drought and water supply is also rising (64% up from 57% two weeks ago).

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