TasTalks – Refugee Attitudes Survey 2022


Tasmanians overwhelmingly welcome refugees but have some concerns about their impact on housing availability and affordability, infrastructure, employment and economy which governments should heed according to EMRS’s new research into Tasmanians’ awareness, understanding of and attitudes towards refugees.

“The EMRS TasTalks Refugee Survey is the first in a new series of research to explore community attitudes on topical issues and has been delivered to coincide with Refugee Week,” said Peter Watts, Account Manager, EMRS.

“This survey reveals that Tasmanians regard refugees positively overall, that they are welcome and can make a significant positive contribution to the community. This sentiment is positive for Australia Refugee Week’s focus on harmony this year,” he said.

The survey found that almost all respondents (94%) personally welcome refugees into their local community although sentiment towards Tasmania being a welcoming place for refugees to resettle as a whole was low only 57% agreed that their region of Tasmania was welcoming place for refugees to resettle.

Most respondents (74%) agreed that Tasmania benefits from accepting more refugees citing cultural diversity, skills/employment, new ideas and perspectives, cross-cultural exchange as leading benefits. However, respondents also expressed concerns regarding the strain additional refugees add to housing availability and affordability, the economy, infrastructure and employment.

“And while almost two-thirds (64%) indicated that refugees lived in their suburbs, the research found that most of us don’t actually know any refugees – so there is more to be done to achieve harmony and integration,” said Peter.

When it comes to knowing Australia’s refugee commitments, we are more hazy, with only 10% of respondents correctly indicating Australia’s refugee intake as a proportion of total annual migrants entering Australia each year. And almost one in three respondents mistakenly believe that refugees are economic migrants, with this being most pronounced among 18–34-year-olds where over half were not aware of what a refugee actually is. This points to further work needed to understand this gap in awareness and educate the community on refugees and Australia’s humanitarian commitments.

The TasTalks online survey comprised 553 responses from Tasmanian’s 18 years old and over and is weighted to the State population. The survey took place 06-14 June 2022 using EMRS’s own online Community Panel of Tasmanians.

To join EMRS’s panel and participate in other exciting short online surveys, click the link below.

For more information, see our report.