MEDIA RELEASE: New survey shows majority support for formal separation of church and state

On January 31 2023, in the Sydney Morning Herald, the premier of NSW, Dominic Perrottet, was cited as saying:

“What I believe as a Liberal premier of this state … is the separation of church and state.”

On 6-7 February 2023, YouGov undertook a survey on behalf of the Secular Association of NSW. The question was:

Australia has no formal recognition of government and religion. Would you approve or disapprove of a constitutional amendment to formally separate government and religion?

Australia wide, around 53 per cent were in favour of a constitutional amendment to separate government and religion federally, 13 per cent were opposed and 33 per cent didn’t know.

NSW was the state with the highest level of support, with 56 per cent in favour; 10 per cent against; 34 per cent ‘don’t know’.

The 53 per cent national figure makes an interesting contrast to the 39 per cent who said they had no religion in the 2021 Census. It could mean that approximately 15 per cent of religiously committed citizens support separation of church and state.

The secretary of the Secular Association of NSW, Max Wallace, said that Mr Perrottet could make history by being the first state in Australia to formally separate government and religion in its constitution:

“In doing so, Mr Perrottet would be giving voters what they want, confirming that he is true to his word, and not just making a motherhood statement which he knows has general appeal.”

Full survey results available here