With vaccination rates nearly at ‘freedom levels’, there wasn’t much point asking about people’s intentions to get vaccinated in this month’s Omnibus (courtesy Ovation Research omnibus, September '21). So we switched focus, to ask people all around Australia what they are most looking forward to once lockdown ends.
And to steal another line from the Men at Work classic, “you better run, you better take cover”, because once the door is open, people intend to make the most of their freedom.
Whichever State you live in, the main desire is the same. To travel again.
Across Australia, Regional, Interstate and International travel are the highest items on people’s agenda.
Place your bets on which one came out on top?
Well, the highest desire overall is to be able to travel interstate again (37%).
It seems we are missing our family and friends interstate more than we are France or Fiji.
Our Politicians should take note of this, as their current reluctance to open-the-borders, which served them so well in the Polls whilst Delta was a threat, could now shoot them in the foot unless they open up quickly. People tend to have short memories and short fuses when it comes to Pollies.
Perhaps significantly, one driver of desire is whatever you are denied. Queenslanders, who can do most things at the moment apart from travel, placed travel at the very top of their ‘wish list’. A staggering 1 in 2 say interstate travel is the thing they are most looking forward to doing again. Significantly higher than in NSW (26%) and Vic (31%) and only topped by fortress WA, where 53% can’t wait to visit another State or Territory.
There’s a message there for Annastacia. Maybe Queenslanders “don’t want Delta as a Christmas Present from NSW”, but they are clearly hanging out to get something from their friends and rellies. In person.
In NSW, where people can practically taste their freedom now, you can really see the effect of 14 weeks of home lockdown: 34% want to go to a pub/restaurant. Presumably to celebrate. Wildly. But 1 in 3 need to go there via a hairdresser/salon/beautician, to tart themselves up first! And yes, this is more for women than men, so maybe in Australia women really do “glow” and “men chunder”.
It’s a similar story in Victoria, with 35% putting pub/restaurant at the top of their wish list. But maybe Victorians have sneaked in a few haircuts between the 6 different lockdowns they have endured because, unlike NSW, only 18% feel the need to go to a hairdresser/salon/beautician first.
Adding further evidence to the ‘you crave what you are denied’ theory, socializing in the home is also high on the agenda in NSW and Vic. Again, almost 1 in 3 people in each State can’t wait to visit someone else, or have someone over to theirs. Significantly higher than the 15% in Brisbane and Perth, presumably because people can already do this.
The over-arching message is “you better take cover” if you work in hospitality or travel anywhere in Australia, as the lockdown tsunami is likely to hit as soon as the door is open.
And any Premier who stands between what frustrated Aussies want, citing “National Roadmaps” or “Doherty Modelling” better beware, “can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?”
Acknowledgements: references lyrics from: 'Down Under' by Men At Work
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