Political parties, media and unions top corruption list

Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Inga Williams

POLITICAL parties, the media and trade unions topped a list of institutions the public perceives as most corrupt in Australia, an Australian National University poll revealed on Monday.

While the results of the latest annual Perceptions of Corruption and Ethical Conduct survey showed low levels of confidence in these three sectors, confidence in the police and armed forces remained high.

And while the media and unions were seen as two of the "the most corrupt institutions"; both these sectors have consistently been held in low regard since the survey was started nearly 30 years ago.

The survey also marked a significant fall in satisfaction with democracy, with the 2012 figures the lowest at any time since 1998.

"The lower levels of satisfaction with democracy since 20-10 are substantially related to concerns about the quality of government," the report reads.

"Judged over more than decade, the largest increases in confidence have been in the public service and the legal system, and the largest decreases have been in the federal government and political parties."

The survey also found the high levels of dissatisfaction with democracy were strongly aligned with concerns about "better government" and immigration.

It found the levels of satisfaction with the democracy initially fell from 78% in 1996 when the Federal Liberal Government was first elected to 71% in 1998.

But that figure then rose for the remainder of the Howard Government's reign, to 82% in 2004., before rising again just after the 2007 election which brought the Rudd Government to power.

The survey shows Australians' satisfaction with democracy then went on a downward trend in the 2010 election which brought Julia Gillard to the Prime Minister's Office.

That trend saw levels of satisfaction fall from the 2007 peak of 86%, back down to 71% in 2012.


Armed forces 85%

Police 82%

Major Australian companies 59%

Public service 56%

Legal system 51%

Local government 51%

Banks and financial institutions 46%

State government 36%

Trade unions 30%

Federal government in Canberra 23%

Media 23%

Political parties 18%

SOURCE: ANUpoll: Perceptions of Corruption and Ethical Conduct, 2012.

Topics:  corruption media politics unions

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