Queensland is set to ban the public display of the Nazi swastika and other hate symbols.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced today, Thursday (May 26), via social media that legislation will be introduced to Parliament to make the public display of hate symbols a criminal offence.
In a since-deleted tweet, she wrote: “Today I’m announcing our intention to introduce legislation to parliament that will make it a criminal offence to display symbols promoting hatred and causing fear.”
The Premier also issued a statement, saying: “Nazism is evil.
“Evil triumphs when good people do nothing.
“These crimes are not harmless and nor is the ideology behind it.”
The leader of the state government said she was urged to create the new legislation after a Nazi flag was displayed outside a Brisbane Synagogue and trains were vandalised with hate symbols last year, according to SBS News.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman also said the move would help encourage an inclusive community without promoting ‘hate crimes’, according to the Queensland Government website.
She said: “We are committed to a Queensland that is harmonious, fair and inclusive, not one where individuals or groups are vilified based on their race, religion, language, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation or gender.
“The Queensland Parliament Legal Affairs and Safety Committee’s recent inquiry into serious vilification and hate crimes recommended a criminal offence prohibiting the public display of hate symbols."
She also revealed the legislation would be implemented in the second half of 2022.
Ms Palaszczuk’s plan to introduce a new law follows Victoria’s move to prohibit the public display of the swastika earlier this month.
The Victorian government’s legislation became the first jurisdiction in the country to make the display of the Nazi swastika a criminal offence.
Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes announced the reform on Wednesday (May 11), saying: “The Nazi symbol glorifies one of the most hateful ideologies in history – its public display does nothing but cause further pain and division.
“As a government we want to do all we can to stamp out hate and give it no room to grow.”
Those who display such hate symbols will face AUD $20,000 and 12 months imprisonment, with the legislation coming into effect a year after passing.
Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, Dr Dvir Abramovic welcomed the ban, telling reporters: “This is a day for the history books, this is an uplifting and triumphant moment for every Victorian and it’s a thunderous blow to the solar plexus of the neo-Nazi movement here in Victoria who would love nothing more than to put people like myself in the gas chambers and who dream of an Australian Hitler and Fourth Reich.”Featured Image Credit: Alamy.