Victoria will be the first Australian state to ban the publication of Nazi symbols, including Nazi Wasstica, under a proposed amendment set to expand the state’s defamation laws.
The state government confirmed the move on September 2, with a bill expected to be introduced into the Victorian Parliament in early 2022.
The move follows an April parliamentary investigation recommending an extremist insignia and a ban on propaganda following increased neo-Nazi activity.
“All forms of hatred are unacceptable and there is no place in Victoria,” said Attorney General Jacqueline Sims of Victoria. statement.. “”[E]Expanding our defamation law to protect more Victorian people sends a clear message that this sneaky behavior is unacceptable. “
According to the government, the proposed changes do not include the use of the Nazi symbol for educational or historical purposes. statement..
Moreover, it is clear whether the proposed changes include other uses of the swastika by eastern religious groups, who have recognized the symbol as one of divinity and spirituality for thousands of years, as in the Buddhist tradition. It wasn’t.
The Epoch Times asked the Victorian Multicultural Commission for comment, but received nothing at the time of publication.
Opposition police spokesman David Southwick said Victorian police and the community were “powerless” for years to prevent the Nazi swastika from being “used as a tool to spread hatred.” We welcomed the announcement that he said.
“Recently, I’ve seen the rise of extremist nationalists and racist individuals and groups. This ban helps a lot to get rid of the symbols they hide behind.” Southwick added.
In August, Australian spy chief Mike Burgess said that half of Australia’s domestic terrorist attacks came from the far-right group, which encourages violence. For example, the Neo-Nazi Group’s National Socialist Network reportedly posted images of members posing in front of a burning cross on social media.
“They look like everyday Australians, they do not openly show their true idealism, nor do they openly show their violent beliefs or use of violence. Age..
However, Morgan Beg, a researcher at the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), said the proposed changes would impede freedom of speech.
“This proposal will give human rights bureaucrats enormous power to regulate and censor the opinions of mainstream Australians,” Beg said.
Dara MacDonald, also from IPA, said at a hearing (pdf) In March 2020, those who have a “disgusting view” will hold it, whether or not it is required by law, and because people “teach” young people rather than a “top-down” approach. Suggested to use education. You will be taught what you can say and what you cannot do.
According to a government statement, the proposed defamation prevention law also covers gender identity, sexual orientation, HIV status, and disability. This is because the state’s racial and religious tolerance laws are “underutilized” and “promote racial and religious tolerance and provide relief to victims of defamation.” It follows a state survey filed in March that found it ineffective.
Defamation is also easier to prove for those seeking justice through courts, according to a government statement.
“Planning is underway on the best way to make these changes, requiring recommendations from the government to change the law and opinions from Victorian communities such as community groups experiencing slander. There is a recommendation to say. “
AAP contributed to this report.