What Queenslanders really think of our state

 

WE Queenslanders are a pretty positive bunch, according to the results of The Courier-Mail's Your Say 2020 sentiment survey.

The biggest ever survey of its kind in Queensland, more than 8000 Queenslanders went online to answer 49 questions ranging across jobs, the economy, the environment, COVID and our elected leaders.

The answers have given us a comprehensive look at ourselves, highlighting how much faith we have in the future but also uncovering concerns in specific regions and issues that need to be addressed.

SCROLL DOWN FOR THE FULL SURVEY RESULTS

 

Brent and Sarah Male with kids Jordy, 6, and Ella, 4, at Burleigh Heads. Picture: Luke Marsden
Brent and Sarah Male with kids Jordy, 6, and Ella, 4, at Burleigh Heads. Picture: Luke Marsden

 

The top three words used to describe Queensland by Queenslanders are "beautiful", "sunny" and "safe".

We also see ourselves as "friendly", "relaxed", "warm" and "great", a top place to live, raise a family and retire.

Asked how optimistic we are about the future, Central Queensland, Brisbane North and South and the Sunshine Coast are the most upbeat.

All results combined, we are as a state just over the halfway point between positive and negative about the future - pretty good going in the middle of an economic downturn and global pandemic.

But if we feel on average that we sit just above hanging in there, we are split along gender lines, with women being much more positive about Queensland's future than men.

The good news is our youngest adults - 18-24 years and 25-34 years - are our most positive about the state they live in.

Labor voters are also pretty hopeful, far above the borderline average.

As a place to raise a family, the Sunshine Coast leads the pack, followed by Greater Brisbane north and south, and Central Queensland.

Even the least enthusiastic - Far North and North Queensland - reckon Queensland is still pretty special.

But the rankings shuffle depending on age.

SCROLL DOWN FOR THE FULL SURVEY RESULTS

Carol Wilson, Bronwyn Low, and Val Sheehan are members of the Sunshine Coast Master Swimmers. Picture: Tara Croser
Carol Wilson, Bronwyn Low, and Val Sheehan are members of the Sunshine Coast Master Swimmers. Picture: Tara Croser

 

Those aged 45-54, who presumably are in the throes of raising kids or have already, rate Brisbane North as the top spot to raise a family, followed by the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane South then the Goldie.

Those in the age bracket starting a family - 25 to 34 years - see things very differently: North Queensland comes out on top, while the Sunshine Coast ranks lowest.

We are across the board a top spot for people over 65 years old, though interestingly, the younger the respondents, the better they thought it was for our seniors.

The Sunshine Coast and Central Queensland have the happiest retirees, a positive vote reflected by the communities they live in.

People from the Sunshine Coast were most positive about what Queensland has to offer the elderly, followed closely by those in Brisbane North.

Below the average, North Queensland and their neighbours in the far north were less overwhelmingly positive but still thought we offered a pretty good spot to be in our twilight years.

But for all the positives, drill down further, and we are a state divided.

The Gold Coast and North Queensland are angry and frustrated, at least as negative about Queensland's future as Central Queensland, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast are positive.

On the Gold Coast, its family-age adults who are really feeling the pinch, with those between 25 and 44 really feeling the COVID gloom.

In North Queensland, 35 to 54 year olds feel hardest hit, with some seriously bleak results for young people, albeit on a much smaller number of responses.

And that divide goes further than just feeling left out or hard hit by COVID - 27 per cent of Queenslanders expect our state will be split into two states north and south within 30 to 50 years.

The further north you go, the stronger the feeling and the sooner they expect it to happen: more than half of North Queensland respondents expected the split, with 41 per cent saying it would happen within three decades.

The split vote is also strong in FNQ, where more than 42 per cent reckoned they'd have their own state within 30 to 50 years, backed up by almost a third of respondents in Central Queensland, who would presumably have to choose which state they joined.

Your Say 2020 was a self-selection sentiment survey conducted across News Queensland's metropolitan and regional websites from September 1-10.

It was open to all readers, subscribers and non subscribers, to have their say on the current state of Queensland and the state's priorities as we rebuild from the COVID-19 health and economic crisis.

 

The survey method

Your Say 2020 was a self-selection sentiment survey conducted across News Queensland's metropolitan and regional websites from September 1-10. It was open to all readers, both subscribers and non- subscribers, to have their say on the current state of Queensland and the state's priorities as we rebuild from the COVID-19 health and economic crisis.

The survey included 49 questions ranging from cost of living and covid, to the performance of elected leaders and lifestyle. It did not require personal details or contact information, but respondents had to include their age bracket, gender and state electorate.

There were 8025 valid responses to the questions. Any attempts to spam the survey were blocked and removed from final results.

The geographic split of survey respondents maps closely to the population distribution of the state. Those aged over 45 were over-represented in the survey responses, and the gender balance skewed a bit more male than the population. While the results should not be seen as a predictor for the state election, the sample size of electoral regions, age brackets and political persuasions does provide an opportunity to highlight differences in opinions, the common issues Queensland is facing, and people's key concerns for the future.

 

 

Originally published as What Queenslanders really think of our state



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