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Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard faces popular rebellion on key economic policies that could prompt their reversal if Labor loses power in the next election. The poll’s findings on climate change policies present the most urgent issue for Gillard.

This includes the carbon tax due to begin on July 1 and its later evolution to an emissions trading scheme, and increasing foreign investment in mining and agricultural land, especially from China.

The latest annual Lowy Institute poll also shows Australians place little faith in the Government’s economic management, believing instead the minerals boom saved the nation from recession.

The poll’s findings on climate change policies present the most urgent issue for Gillard.

The Opposition has maintained an unrelenting attack on the carbon tax – warning of soaring increases in business and household costs – and has promised to repeal it if they defeat Labor.

Gillard has struggled with the policy since she backflipped on earlier campaign promises and announced its introduction after the formation of her minority Government in 2010.

The Lowy poll said that Australians were softening their views on measures to fight global warming, with support for urgent and strong policies falling from two-thirds to 36 per cent in the past six years.

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