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Should We Pull Down Statue Of Governor Macquarie?

Following the removal of controversial statues of Confederate Generals in America's deep south, comes news that we may see the same thing happen in Sydney.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has told Fairfax Media that she has referred concerns about a statue of Governor Lachlan Macquarie to the council's Indigenous advisory panel "for their consideration and in particular their advice on how the City can most effectively play a role in progressing equality and redress past injustices".

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Then NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell, Governor Marie Bashir and Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore unveil the statue of Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 2013

The Lord Mayor said: "There have been too many people in mainstream Australia ready to make judgment on these issues without consulting Indigenous communities, and whether well-meaning or not, it's often done more harm than good,"

The council has also sought advice from the panel about the statue of Captain James Cook, with its plaque claiming he discovered Australia.

The Macquarie statue is found at the northern end of Hyde Park, with an inscription that begins:

"He was a perfect gentleman, a Christian and supreme legislator of the human heart."

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However, director of Indigenous programs at the UNSW Art & Design Tess Allas says: "I believe he should not be honoured in this way,"

"He ordered and sanctioned the murder of innocent people including children. How is it possible to honour such a fellow and still believe our society is a just society?"

"I'd love to see Macquarie Street renamed. I'd love to see the Lachlan River, Macquarie Fields, Port Macquarie, Macquarie Harbour, Macquarie Rivulet, Macquarie Pass, the Macquarie Bank, etc., etc., etc., renamed."

Ms Allas continued: "He was the one who ordered the first massacre and from that massacre instructed the offending troops to hang the victims from trees so as to "strike the greater terror" into any survivors."

Ms Allas said she would support any calls to remove Macquarie's statue or even providing more information.

"The full story of Macquarie's governorship should be added to reflect his whole story.

"If we are going to retain historical monuments like these we can't choose to remember only some of the facts."

Illawarra Mercury

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