AIJAC welcomes Victorian swastika ban bill
May 11, 2022 | AIJAC staff
The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council has welcomed the news that the Victorian Government is set to introduce a bill to ban the public display of the infamous Nazi symbol, the swastika.
Victorian Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes made the announcement of the new bill on Wednesday, May 11, saying it sends “a very clear message” about the state’s position against neo-Nazi ideology. “We want to do all we can to stamp out hate and give it no room to grow,” she said.
The Bill contains exemptions for use of the symbol in education, art, film and for religious use, and provides that people found guilty of displaying the symbol in the future could face up to a year in jail and up to $22,000 in fines. The Victorian move follows an announcement in early April by the NSW Government of a commitment to introduce a similar ban.
AIJAC Executive Director Dr. Colin Rubenstein said of the proposed bill, “The public display of Nazi symbols should be a red line in Australian public discourse, and banning these symbols of hate represents an important step towards creating a safer, more cohesive and more harmonious society. We commend the Victorian Attorney-General and the Victorian Government for their efforts to get the ban to this stage, and the Victorian Opposition, led by David Southwick, for advocating for and supporting this ban. We call on all state governments to consider following suit. There is every reason to hope that the display of racist and offensive Nazi symbols can soon become a thing of the past in Australia.”