The targets of racism in Australia have changed -- Indians are now most often singled out rather than the past focus on people of East Asian descent, a new social study has found.
The study also found that public hostility towards Muslims is much greater in Sydney than Melbourne, by a factor of two to one, with immigrants far more dispersed across the capital. The findings show Sydney is home to a higher percentage of people born overseas than Melbourne.
The survey found that they are typically poorer and concentrated in fewer suburbs than those in Victoria.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the survey found that 29 percent of people in Sydney hold a negative view of Muslims, compared with 15 percent who hold a similar view in Melbourne.
The economy, the quality of politicians, and boats ferrying asylum seekers ranked as the three most serious problems facing Australia, the report said.
According to the report, most are convinced by the statement: "Australia is a land of economic opportunity where in the long run, hard work brings a better life" -- an optimism especially felt among people who speak a language other than English at home.
"Many immigrants are actually more positive about Australia than Australian-born because their reference point is where they come from," study author, Andrew Markus, said.
The survey found that nationwide, only 28 percent of Australian-born people felt unsafe walking alone at night, but the concern shot up to 50 per cent in the local findings.
According to the report, Hass Dellal, from the Australian Multicultural Foundation, said the split between Sydney and Melbourne on views of Muslims resulted from more work in Victoria to engage the Islamic community.