New Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (2nd L), his wife Margie (L), Governor-General Quentin Bryce (3rd L), her husband Michael Bryce (3rd R), leader of the National Party Warren Truss (R) and his wife Lyn (2nd R) pose for photographers after Tony Abbott was sworn in as the 28th prime minister of Australia during a ceremony in Canberra on September 18, 2013.
New Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (2nd L), his wife Margie (L), Governor-General Quentin Bryce (3rd L), her husband Michael Bryce (3rd R), leader of the National Party Warren Truss (R) and his wife Lyn (2nd R) pose for photographers after Tony Abbott was sworn in as the 28th prime minister of Australia during a ceremony in Canberra on September 18, 2013. Stefan Postles

Survey reveals focus on health, education and development

HEALTH, education and regional development should be the top three priorities of the new Federal Government, say respondents to a recent survey on The Northern Star's website.

Ranking least important in voters' minds was Tony Abbott's promise to repeal the carbon and mining taxes and introduce a paid parental leave scheme.

The unscientific poll revealed a broadly pessimistic attitude about the future of the region under the new Coalition Government.

Half the respondents indicated they had voted for Labor in the recent election while almost 70% believed Tony Abbott was not an effective leader.

Six out of 10 people believed regional and rural areas would now be worse off, with 41% "very negative" about Australia's future under the Coalition.

The environment would fare worse, said 67%, as too would health and education, said more than half.

Elsewhere in Northern NSW the picture was much the same, with 57% believing the regions would suffer under the Coalition, compared to just 27% who expected things to improve.

Four out of 10 respondents in the regional poll said they voted Labor, 30% for other parties and 30% for the Coalition.

Almost half the online poll's respondents were over 55 with just 13% under the age of 35. Almost 50% were in a full-time job or self-employed.



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