Taking the Pulse of the Nation

Informing Australian economic & social policy. A Melbourne Institute & Roy Morgan partnership

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Taking the Pulse of the Nation (TTPN) surveys the Australian population to capture their sentiments and behaviours related to current economic and social issues

Since 2020, the Taking the Pulse of the Nation (TTPN) survey has collected compelling information on the changing behaviours and attitudes of Australians. Together, Melbourne Institute and Roy Morgan understand the value in capturing the voices of Australians on the issues that matter right now. We use this information to create expert analyses to directly inform social and economic policies for our Nation.

This survey data is available to the public upon request. Please contact us for more information and access.


Australians demand more action on climate change from the government

Climate change and environmental degradation are urgent challenges facing the planet. Many countries, including Australia, have experienced severe hurricanes, storms, heatwaves, and bushfires, as well as slow onset impacts such as sea level rising, soil degradation and coral bleaching.

Most Australians believe there have been insufficient efforts from previous governments to address climate change. As the climate crisis becomes more serious, most Australians are committed to cutting their own energy use in an effort to address the issue.

Australians let down by lack of climate action from former governments

The majority (72%) believe the Australian government has historically done too little to address climate change  – with 76% of women and 67% of men indicating that not enough action has been taken (Figure 1).

Australians are committed to reducing energy consumption

More than 85% of Australians believe that reducing their own energy use and the amount spent on energy bills is important or very important in minimising their impact on climate change (Figure 2). About 68% of Australians believe that installing solar panels is an important initiative to decrease households’ carbon footprint – with 51% indicating they have already been or will be installing solar panels soon.

Engagement with local government could be improved

Local governments have an important role to play in instilling confidence and trust in communities to effectively respond to climate change. However, Australians appear to be disengaged with their local government, with half indicating that they will not contact their local representatives about taking climate action (Figure 3).

The need for stronger climate policy wrought by the recent federal election has presented an opportunity for the incumbent government to make more effective change. While most Australians are committed to minimising their impact on climate change by actively cutting their energy use and installing solar panels, they feel let down by previous governments’ commitment to actively acting towards minimising the country’s impact on the environment. Local governments have an important role to play in motivating communities to effectively respond to climate change, but trust needs to be regained following the perceived inaction of former governments.

This Taking the Pulse of the Nation insight was authored by Dr Ou Yang, Research Fellow, Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research, 21 July 2022.

*This analysis is performed by the Melbourne Institute. This analysis is based on a sample of 1,005 survey respondents in the June 2022 wave of the TTPN.

**Beginning in April 2020, the Taking the Pulse of the Nation (TTPN) was conceptualised and implemented by a group of researchers at the Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research. Each wave includes a set of core questions, as well as additional questions that address current and emerging issues facing Australians. The TTPN sample is stratified to reflect the Australian adult population in terms of age, gender, and location. In 2022, the Melbourne Institute and Roy Morgan formed a partnership to extend the running of the TTPN. The TTPN Survey uses a repeated cross-sectional design. If you are interested in adding questions to the survey or accessing the data, please contact us at: melb-inst@unimelb.edu.au.

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