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Australians losing faith in gov't handling of COVID-19: poll

(Xinhua)    16:56, September 08, 2020

CANBERRA, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Australians are losing faith in government handling of the coronavirus crisis, a poll has found.

The poll of more than 1,000 voters, published by the Guardian Australia on Tuesday, found that 59 percent of respondents approved of the federal government's handling of the pandemic, down from 73 percent in May.

In early September Australia's COVID-19 death toll surpassed 700, an increase of more than 500 percent from 103 at the end of May, with a vast majority of the deaths having occurred in aged care facilities.

However, Scott Morrison remained the most popular choice for the prime minister with 49 percent of respondents identifying him as their preferred PM compared to 26 percent for Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese.

More than 40 percent of voters said aged care providers were responsible for outbreaks in their facilities while 31 percent blamed the federal government and 28 percent state governments.

Almost 80 percent agreed that authorities failed to prepare for COVID-19 outbreaks in aged care and 72 percent agreed that the issue has been exacerbated by underfunding.

The poll also found that voters' faith in state and territory governments has declined.

Support for the New South Wales' government response to the pandemic fell two points to 57 percent while that for the government of Queensland, which is facing an election at the end of October, fell seven points to 66 percent.

Half of voters approved of the Victorian government's handling of the crisis despite the state accounting for 74 percent of Australia's coronavirus cases and more than 85 percent of the nation's deaths.

The government of Western Australia (WA), which has taken a hardline stance on keeping the state's borders closed, was the most popular with 87 percent support among voters.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Liang Jun)

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