My observations on the 1m rule (1.5m for >60kph):
In Queensland it was introduced (as a 2-year trial) along with a good education campaign by the government. There were a few other changes to rules regarding cyclists at the same time, but the talk was definitely about the 1m rule. My feeling was that it really made a difference: people got a bit more thoughtful about how closely they passed cyclists, and a lot of them started giving more room. It didn't stop the occasional dick-head who just hates cyclists and couldn't give a f**k - they passed too close before and still do.
In South Australia it was recently introduced (this time permanently, rather than as a trial), but at the same time as riders were allowed on the footpath. (They had always been in Queensland). Somehow this completely distracted from the 1m separation as the South Aussies got all excited about the peletons on lycra racers that would be bowling down grandmothers on the footpaths... The result (observed from a couple of weeks riding around in Adelaide, both in lycra, and on an upright casual bike) - it didn't really make much difference to driver behaviour. I received more close passes (that felt accidental rather than deliberate) in Adelaide than I have for over a year in Brisbane.
In NSW, the situation seems worse: all the publicity and talk appears to have been around how annoying cyclists are and how much they should be fined and harassed for daring to ride on "our" roads. I don't expect the introduction of the 1m passing rule will have any positive.
I have made a point of talking to a number of Queensland MPs encouraging them to permanently instate the 1m rule at the end of the trial period. Hopefully this will come with more publicity.
To be clear, the 1m rule is not a panacea, but having more drivers actually thinking about what is a safe passing distance is a good thing!
I realise that many people posting here don't care, because they get dressed up to go riding (training) anyway, and always carry ID, and get to choose where they ride, but trust me, the new laws in NSW will be to the detriment of utility cyclists who just want to ride a bike for transport. This is a crying shame.