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NSW Set To Finally Ban Public Displays Of Nazi Flags And Swastikas

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NSW Set To Finally Ban Public Displays Of Nazi Flags And Swastikas

Waving a Nazi flag or displaying swastikas in public will finally be banned in New South Wales.

The state government is preparing a bill to outlaw the symbol following a surge of far-right activity in Australia and abroad.

NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman said the state government is committed to introducing a piece of legislation to criminalise these public displays of hate symbols in order to 'provide an additional safeguard to the existing protections' against 'vilifying conduct'.

The move comes after a state parliamentary inquiry in February, which unanimously recommended a ban on the public display of Nazi symbols.

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Credit: Eddie Gerald / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Eddie Gerald / Alamy Stock Photo

Labor MP Walt Secord, who introduced the bill, has been campaigning for two years to see the ban come into effect.

Secord has praised the NSW Attorney General’s plan to move forward with the ban, according to The Guardian.

“Sadly, we are seeing a surge in far rightwing activity in Australia and overseas,” he said.

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Jewish advocacy groups also commended the government’s decision.

The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Darren Bark said the law was 'much needed' in the state.

"This legislation will ensure there is a clear distinction between legitimate and unlawful use of Nazi symbols," he said.

News of the ban broke as federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg took to social media to hit out at vandals who had been drawing swastikas across his face on his political posters.

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Frydenberg, a Jewish MP for Kooyong, called the vandalism 'obscene'.

"It doesn't matter which political group is on the receiving end, it's just not on. Our community deserves better," he said. 

The Treasurer, born to Jewish parents and a mother who survived the Holocaust, has previously warned that 'antisemitism is on the rise, not just here but around the world'. 

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NSW's move to ban the anti-Semitic symbols comes months after Victoria pushed forward with a similar ban.

Victoria's decision came after the state was plagued by several incidents that captured national attention for the seemingly proud wearing and displaying of Nazi symbols.

Premier Daniel Andrews admitted back in 2019 that there was a 'deficiency' in the law.

"There's no place for those views, there's no place for those symbols, there's no place for those attitude and conduct in a modern Victoria," he said.

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Authorities were powerless to stop a neo-Nazi festival from going ahead and around 40 men, who gathered in the Grampians before Australia Day, weren't arrested for holding a KKK-style ritual.

Australia has one of the highest numbers of Holocaust survivors per capita worldwide.

Featured Image Credit: Malcolm Fairman / Alamy Stock Photo. World History Archive / Alamy Stock Photo.

Topics: Australia, News

Rachel Lang
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