The recent use of Nazi salutes and imagery at a number of protests across the country has prompted the discussion about whether bans should be put in place.
The discussion even reached federal parliament, with the coalition having tabled a bill on Wednesday calling for the banning of Nazi symbols, salutes, and uniforms nationwide. The bill was denied.
But where does the Australian Capital Territory stand when it comes to banning Nazi symbols, salutes, and uniforms?
Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury said there is legislation under the Crimes Act that does prevent threatening acts and inciting hatred, but the legislation does not currently reference Nazi symbols.
“That’s why the government has introduced specific legislation in November last year, that’s currently before the Assembly, that will particularly refer to and prohibit the public display of Nazi symbols,” he said.
The bill is currently before a Standing Committee, who are looking at it, and is expected to pass through the Assembly in the coming months.
The Attorney-General said, “there has not been previous specific laws in the ACT to prevent Nazi symbolism. But given the rise of use that we have seen both in other jurisdictions and occasionally here in the ACT, the government has formed the view that we need to change the law to be explicit about prohibiting the public display of nazi symbols.”
“And also giving police the power to remove such symbols, to prevent the continuation of the offensive display of them.”
Attorney-General Rattenbury said the government have formed the view that it needs to be more explicit in prohibiting the use of nazi symbols in the ACT.
“We’ve seen Victoria and NSW introduce offences last year, and the Queensland and Tasmanian governments are also committed to outlawing these symbols. This recognises that we are seeing groups, on the margin, but nonetheless an increasing use of these symbols in Australia.”
Victoria and New South Wales banned the public display of Nazi symbols last year, with their attention now turned to the salute.
Tasmania has indicated it’s considering banning the salute, while Queensland said it’s watching closely.