Each year a portion of the Australian federal budget is allocated to defence, with
the aims of ensuring national security and protecting shared interests with Australia’s
allies. In 2011/2012, when the National Church Life Survey (NCLS) was conducted,
defence spending was estimated at $26.3 billion.1 In terms of public opinion, it
has been claimed in recent years that “support for more defence spending has dropped
to its lowest level since the end of the Cold War”2, as fewer Australians perceive
a security threat to the country. Although Australian Electoral Study results support
this claim (with the percent of Australians in favour of higher spending in decline
since 2001), it is still a position held by many. In 2010, 45% of Australians surveyed
thought the government should spend more on defence, compared to 10% who thought
it should spend less and 45% who thought spending was about right3. What do Australian
church attenders think in relation to defence spending?
In late 2011 as a part of the 2011 NCLS, a sample of Catholic, Anglican and Protestant
church attenders were asked the following question: Do you think that the government
should spend more or less on defence?
Author/s: Nicole Hancock, Miriam Pepper and Ruth Powell
Pepper, M. Hancock, N., & Powell, R. (2015) Church attenders’ views on defence spending, NCLS Research Fact Sheet 15001. Adelaide: Mirrabooka Press.
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