In a survey commissioned by the Secular Association of NSW and carried out on 26 April 2023, YouGov respondents were asked whether:
An Australian republic should recognise religious sensitivities by providing taxpayer-funded grants, tax exemptions, as well as exceptions to discrimination law for religious groups.
They were then asked whether:
An Australian republic should be entirely secular and not provide taxpayer-funded grants, tax exemptions, as well as exceptions to discrimination law for religious groups.
The results were:
- 24 per cent supported existing religious privileges
- 53 per cent opposed existing religious privileges
- 23 per cent ticked ‘don’t know’
There were similar majorities in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia. The NSW statistics were 25 per cent support for religious privileges, 48 per cent opposed, 27 per cent ‘don’t know’. Tasmania was not part of the survey.
Every generation — Gen Z (1997-2009), Millennials (1981-1996), Gen X (1965-1980), Baby Boomer (1946-1964), and Silent (1918-1945) — showed majority support for an entirely secular republic without privileges for religious groups.
35 per cent of Christians supported existing privileges for religion, 41 per cent opposed, and 24 per cent did not know.
The Secretary of the Secular Association of NSW, Max Wallace, also pointed to their YouGov survey of 7 February 2023, which asked:
Australia has no formal recognition of government and religion. Would you approve or disapprove of a constitutional amendment to formally separate government and religion?
The results of that survey were:
- 53 per cent approved
- 12 per cent disapproved
- 35 per cent ticked ‘don’t know’.
Max Wallace said:
“It looks as if the earth has moved beneath the feet of the Australian Republican Movement, who are committed to the received wisdom that you cannot achieve a referendum result in Australia unless the question is timidly minimal.
“These surveys add to the thought that Australian public opinion has shifted to a more progressive place after the 2022 federal election.”