Why are Queenslanders against increasing the aid budget?

Here’s a screenshot from the ABC’s Vote Compass survey results with a state and territory breakdown of the top twenty electorates where voters are most at odds with each other over prominent issues in the upcoming election.

All the seats most opposed to an increase in foreign aid are in Queensland, and not just in the far north. Queenslanders seem to have different views on other issues as well, but are the Queensland floods (and the campaign to divert aid to fund flood relief and reconstruction) an issue?

The ABC survey is not random (you opt in here), but there are over 400,000 participants.


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Colum Graham

Colum Graham is a Research Officer at the Development Policy Centre and PhD candidate at ANU.


  • If you go to the ACFID website there is a table of number of NGO donors/supporters per Federal seat, an interesting set of variations bewteen outer and inner city seats among others. In some inner city seats nearly half the electorate supports an NGO/s.

  • Interesting observation although I don’t see that the issue of aid is ‘major’ in this election, despite efforts to get it into the discourse by DevPolicy and others. Also, the way the question is phrased implies a presumption that the respondent already knows how much Australia spends on foreign aid and I have seen other items that indicate quite clearly that the general public (a) don’t know how much is spent on aid and (b) generally overestimate the spend when asked to guess

  • Thanks Colum,

    I was wondering, do we know if Queensland is a net recipient of federal transfers?

    Interesting to see that the results are almost identical when it comes to:
    1. opposing asylum seekers
    2. doing anything about climate change

    Queensland is clearly not a particularly internationalist state…

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