The Australian government has decided it’s not playing around when it comes to statue defacement in the land Down Under.
While American politicians all across the U.S. have been happy to accommodate vandals in their efforts to violently remove statues and memorials they don’t like, Australia’s prime minister has a remarkably cogent response to defacements and tear-downs committed there.
As the movement to purge statues has gained traction in those nations with colonialism/imperialism as a part of their historical past, Australia has decided it will in no way be playing ball with protesters.
Following a series of graffiti attacks on monuments in Sydney two weeks ago, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government has decided that statues at least 100 years old will be placed on the National Heritage List. Should any of those be vandalized, the responsible persons are looking at seven years behind bars or a fine of $88,000.
Speaking recently to The Sunday Telegraph, Turnbull said, “We should be proud of our nation’s remarkable Australian story, not embarrassed by it; we should embrace it, not obliterate it. Australian history contains many painful chapters — particularly for indigenous Australians — but a free society debates its past, it does not deny it. It builds new monuments as it preserves old ones.”
The prime minister said, as well, that his government would “not stand by and allow vandals to rewrite or tear down our history.”
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large