State Government To Ban Possession And Display Of Nazi Symbols

Certain exemptions apply

Article heading image for State Government To Ban Possession And Display Of Nazi Symbols

ABC News: Hugh Sando

The State Government will criminalise the display and possession of Nazi symbols in certain circumstances.

The move follows Victoria and New South Wales which have recently passed legislation to criminalise Nazi symbols, while Queensland and Tasmania are set to do the same.

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The display of Nazi symbols is offensive to many members of society, particularly to the Jewish community, survivors of the Holocaust and their families and those who have fought against fascism. 

Visible tattoos of Nazi symbols will also be criminalised.

Certain circumstances will be exempt from the legislation including using symbols for genuine academic or educational purposes, buying, or selling bona fide World War II memorabilia, or publishing fair and accurate media reports of matters of public interest.

The swastika symbol continues to be used as a sign of peace and prosperity in some religions and too will be exempt when used in connection to genuine religious purposes.

Not only used in association to antisemitism, but the swastika is also used to in vilifying other communities including Muslims and LGBTQIA+ groups.

Attorney General John Quigley said the State Government would not tolerate hate groups which spread fear, division, and violence.

"I thank Members of Parliament and Jewish community bodies who have raised concerns with the Government about growing incidences involving the display of Nazi symbols,” Mr Quigley said.

"We will continue to work with stakeholder groups during the drafting of the new laws to ensure we strike the right balance between banning offensive behaviour and preserving legitimate uses of the swastika."

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19 January 2023

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