Trust in government bucks global trend

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17 Feb 2019

Australia appears to be bucking a global trend of distrust in governments since the election of the coalition last September.

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But a new global survey suggests Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his team still have work to do.

The 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer showed trust in the Australian government as an institution jumped 14 points in the past year to 56 per cent, compared to a global average of 44 per cent.

“While trust levels in the United States and Europe have witnessed historic declines, Australia has bucked the trend and found confidence in the new government,” Edelman Australia CEO Michelle Hutton said on Friday.

In its 14th year, the barometer is a global study of 27,000 participants across 27 countries examining levels of trust across the institutions of government, business, non-government organisations and the media.

Ms Hutton said the latest survey has seen a significant rise in trust across all of Australia’s institutions and sectors, rebounding from the crisis in leadership.

However, before the Abbott government gets too smug, the survey also sends a warning it must work harder to engender trust among everyday Australians.

It found that three in five Australian respondents do not trust government leaders to tell the truth, while two in five do not trust them to make ethical and moral decisions.

“Last year, our new prime minister announced Australia was ‘open for business’ with the intent to rebuild trust among Australians and sustain confidence in business,” Ms Hutton said.

“While this year’s results paint a rosy picture for government and business, expectations are high – and as recent history has shown us, Australians have a low tolerance for leaders that fall short of what was promised.”

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