Agreement with removal of monuments and memorials

Jun 23, 2020

Q. Protesters are arguing for the removal of monuments and memorials of individuals or organisations connected to the slave trade, genocide of Indigenous Australians and racism. In some cases, the protesters have destroyed the monuments and memorials themselves.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with these statements about removing public monuments and memorials?

  NET: Agree NET: Disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Unsure
The protesters should focus on making changes for people living now, rather than things that happened in the past 80% 14% 54% 26% 8% 6% 7%
Instead of removing monuments and memorials, we should include more information about the historical context of public figures 78% 15% 47% 30% 10% 5% 7%
Every public figure has their positive and negative aspects, and this isn’t a good reason to remove their monuments or memorials 76% 16% 45% 31% 9% 7% 8%
We lose part of our history when monuments and memorials are removed 76% 17% 49% 27% 8% 8% 8%
It’s wrong to judge historical figures by our modern standards of morality 72% 19% 44% 28% 11% 8% 9%
Monuments and memorials provide a constant reminder of racial discrimination in society 48% 42% 19% 29% 20% 21% 11%
Monuments and memorials of people who support racism, segregation or slavery glorify their actions 45% 41% 19% 26% 22% 19% 14%

 

NET: Agree Total Federal Voting Intention
Labor Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
The protesters should focus on making changes for people living now, rather than things that happened in the past 80% 77% 89% 61% 83%
Instead of removing monuments and memorials, we should include more information about the historical context of public figures 78% 75% 85% 62% 81%
Every public figure has their positive and negative aspects, and this isn’t a good reason to remove their monuments or memorials 76% 71% 87% 52% 79%
We lose part of our history when monuments and memorials are removed 76% 71% 88% 54% 71%
It’s wrong to judge historical figures by our modern standards of morality 72% 65% 83% 55% 74%
Monuments and memorials provide a constant reminder of racial discrimination in society 48% 55% 38% 69% 43%
Monuments and memorials of people who support racism, segregation or slavery glorify their actions 45% 50% 37% 65% 41%
Base (n) 1,079 315 445 107 108
  •  Four-fifths of participants agree protesters should focus on making changes for people living now, rather than things that happened in the past (80%) while another 78% agree that instead of removing monuments and memorials, we should include more information about the historical context of public figures.
  • Less than half of participants agree that monuments and memorials provide a constant reminder of racial discrimination in society (48%) and monuments and memorials of people who support racism, segregation or slavery glorify their actions (45%).
  • 18-34 year olds are more likely than those over 55, to agree that monuments and memorials of people who support racism, segregation or slavery glorify their actions (58% of 18-34 year olds and 35% of 55+) or agree that monuments and memorials provide a constant reminder of racial discrimination in society (58% and 37% respectively).
  • Participants over 55 are more likely to agree that we lose part of our history when monuments and memorials are removed (87% of those aged 55+ and 64% of 18-34) and it’s wrong to judge historical figures by our modern standards of morality (80% of 55+ and 64% of 18-34).
  • Broadly Greens voters are most likely to agree with negative statements about the impact of these monuments, while Coalition voters are least likely to agree with those statements.

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