Australians concern over asylum seekers and climate

09:48, May 31, 2010      

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The Lowy Institute survey of 1,000 people on Monday showed Australians have been increasingly worried about asylum seekers and the act on climate change.

The increasing number of asylum seekers to reach Australia's shores has been weighing on the minds of the public, Australian Associated Press reported on Monday.

As the opposition has toughened its stance on border protection, vowing to return to the Pacific Solution if elected, the poll showed almost 80 percent of people were concerned about boat arrivals.

Those who were "very concerned" jumped to more than half of the total.

Australians were more cautious about acting on climate change. The number of those who want immediate, strong action has fallen from 68 percent four years ago to 46 percent today.

Almost three-quarters wanted Australia's greenhouse gas emissions to come down, even without a global climate deal. Australia does not currently have a scheme in place to reduce emissions.

But more people do not want to pay anything extra on their electricity bill to reduce emissions.

The public gave the federal government a bare pass on foreign policy, 5.5 out of 10.

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