Life in the lucky country: What makes Australia great?

Australians and businesses overwhelmingly think our country is a great place to live and have a business. However, Australian consumers and businesses are anxious about what the future holds.

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National Australia Bank (NAB) today released a new report which asks consumers and businesses to explore life, work and running a business in Australia – now and in the future.

“Nine in 10 Australians told us our country’s open spaces, people and lifestyle and access to affordable and quality healthcare are the biggest contributors to liveability and their choice to call Australia home,” NAB Chief Economist Alan Oster said.

“There are some clear differences between states. Consumers in SA/NT are much more positive in relation to travel time, living costs and housing – and in Victoria, a love of sport means entertainment options feature more prominently for liveability than any other state.”

Businesses too are optimistic, with 8 in 10 (82%) surveyed viewing Australia as a great place to have a business.

“Australian business people see the economy, our close proximity and strong connections to Asia and the growing population as some of Australia’s key strengths,” Mr Oster said.

“Making the most of these strengths is vitally important for Australia, to support more growth opportunities for businesses and the millions of Australians they employ.”

But despite their current optimism, the report found only 1 in 2 people and 60% of businesses think Australia will be a great place to live and have a business in 10 years’ time.

“There is a clear message of anxiety in the future coming from Australian consumers and businesses,” Mr Oster said.

“Australians identified access to social welfare, living costs, tax levels, jobs and housing affordability as the key factors they expect will deteriorate the most in the next 10 years. Consumers are saying they expect very little progress in the areas already holding Australia back now.

“While a person’s income didn’t affect current perceptions of liveability, there was a large future disconnect between high income earners (earning over $100,000) and those earning under $35,000 a year.”
Businesses are slightly more optimistic.

“Australian businesses expect the things that make our country great now to continue to make us great in the future – this includes our population, proximity to Asia and our innovative and entrepreneurial economy.”

“These insights on how Australians feel about our country may be able to help businesses and governments discover what we’re concerned about, and prompt discussion on how to tackle some of the big issues,” Mr Oster said.
About 2,300 consumers and 500 businesses took part in the survey, and full findings can be viewed at news.nab.com.au National Australia Bank Limited ABN 12 004 044 937 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 230686

NAB Chairman Dr Ken Henry will be speaking about the research today in his address to the Centre for Economic Development. You can find a full version of his speech at news.nab.com.au from 1.30pm today.

For further information please refer to the attached report: