The federal government will introduce legislation next week to criminalise public displays of the Nazi Hakenkreuz and the Schutzstaffel, or SS, hate symbols and ban the trade in these items in Australia.
The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Prohibited Hate Symbols and Other Measures) Bill will make clear there is no place for those who seek to profit from the trade in these evil symbols or use them to promote their hatred.
There is no place in Australia for symbols that glorify the horrors of the Holocaust.
“And we will no longer allow people to profit from the display and sale of items that celebrate the Nazis and their evil ideology.”
The ban includes but is not limited to, the trade and public display of flags, armbands, t-shirts, insignia and the publication of symbols online promoting Nazi ideology.
The Bill will exclude public displays of the Nazi Hakenkreuz and the Schutzstaffel, or SS, hate symbols for religious, academic, educational, artistic, literary, journalistic or scientific purposes.
This ban will not in any way apply to the display and use of the swastika which is of spiritual significance to religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
The office of the Attorney General says they have consulted with these communities to ensure nothing in these laws will impinge on the use or display of these symbols in association with those religions.
“As a responsible government, we have taken the necessary time to get this bill right. This legislation must be well-targeted and effective. It is a product of careful consideration and consultation, including with law enforcement and with those targeted by this hatred.
“We are working with our state and territory colleagues and their law enforcement agencies to ensure our laws keep our communities safe and complement existing and ongoing efforts to stamp out hatred.
The federal government is sending the clearest possible signal to those who seek to spread hatred, violence and anti-Semitism that we find these actions repugnant and will not be tolerated.