A national online survey has found that voters in the Parkes electorate are more interested in education than taxes as an issue that would influence their vote in a federal election.
Dubbo voters have indicated education concerns equally balanced between schools, TAFE, university and needing more support for rural education as their number one issue when thinking about who they should vote for federally.
Religion, rural funding, refugees and immigration issues were the next most important according to the Voter Choice Project.
The Voter Choice Project is a national study conducted in the lead up to the next election to investigate why Australians vote the way they do. This includes investigating both voting motivations such as supporting a party, or voting on the issues; and influential forces such as media, personal conversations and the formal election campaign.
Health, education, the economy and taxes were mentioned most frequently by New South Wales voters in response to The Voter Choice Project’s June questionnaire as the issues that will influence their voting intentions.
Project director Raphaella Kathryn Crosby, who is conducting the study as part of her PhD through the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), said the study aims to delve deeper into the variety of Australia’s voting decisions.
“The Parkes electorate was interesting, I checked twice because it’s the first time I’ve seen religion so high in the issue count,” she said.
“It’s mentioned in three difference contexts: anti Islamic stuff “I don’t have any problem with any religion coming to Australia but…”; freedom to practice religion “protection to be able to speak my religious beliefs and opinions freely”; and the marriage equality survey, the importance of “religious values” for policy.”
Parkes MP Mark Coulton said he was not surprised education was high on the list of priorities for constituents.
“Out here education does impact on a lot of different things, people want to know that there will be schools for their kids to go to in a rural area, and that they’ll have the opportunity to attend university if they want to,” he said.
“The government has made changes in the budget and we’ve put more resources into making it easier for country kids to leave home and attend university.”
Any registered Australian voter can sign up to take part in the Voter Choice Project at www.voterchoice.com.au
Top ten issues for Parkes electorate voters according to the Voter Choice Project survey.
3. Rural Funding
8. Social issues