Australians are growing more fearful of their international
neighbours, a new poll has found.
The tenth annual Lowy Institute poll found 70 per cent of
Australians think it acceptable for the federal government to
spy on countries in our bad books.
Most of us think its ok to spy on friends and neighbours too,
with 65 per cent of the 1000 people surveyed saying it's
acceptable to spy on China.
In what may or may not be comforting news for Prime Minister
Tony Abbott as he meets Indonesian President Susilo Bambang
Yudhiyono this week, 62 per cent of respondents thought it
acceptable to spy on Indonesia.
"It appears Australians themselves are quite comfortable with
their government spying on the governments of other countries
- even when those countries are friends or allies", said Dr
Michael Fullilove, Executive Director of the Lowy Institute.
It may be because 48 per cent of the adult Australian
population believe China is likely to become a military
threat to Australia in the next 20 years, up seven points
from the 2013 survey.
A majority (56 per cent) say the government allows too much
investment from China.
Australians are also broadly supportive of the Abbott
government's boarder protection policy, Operation Sovereign
The Poll found 71 per cent of Australian adults agree the
government should turn back boats when safe to do so.
However, the majority of Australians - 57 per cent - disagree
with the former Rudd government policy that no asylum seeker
coming to Australia by boat should be allowed to settle in