There are both reasons for optimism and reasons for pessimism in this paper. The poll suggests that Australians are unlikely to meekly accept ongoing lockdowns once vaccination reaches critical levels. Only a small minority believe we should continue to chase 'Covid Zero' exclusively.

Moreover, few people are keen to stay in lockdown until everyone is vaccinated.

In part this reflects the belief, driven by experiences in Sydney and Melbourne in particular, that Covid is unlikely to be eradicated in Australia. Ultimately, the public accepts that we will need to live with Covid one way or another.

However, the responses are far less favourable when it turns to the issue of enforcement of penalties for breaching the health orders. Almost 40% of respondents felt that the penalties were too low, and nearly 50% thought enforcement had been too lax. Only 14% felt the penalties were too high or too strict. This authoritarian streak of dobbing in our neighbours has been exploited by politicians to bolster support for their, at times draconian, policies.

Australians may have this idealised view of ourselves as larrikins who don’t follow the rules, but in reality we are a nation of 'Karens' tut-tutting over people not following 'the rules'.

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CIS Analysis Paper 25