A Michael O’Brien led Liberal Nationals Government will ban the public display of the Nazi swastika and other Nazi symbols which intend to incite hate in Victoria.
As Victorians well know, these symbols represent the totalitarian regime responsible for the Holocaust – an attempted genocide resulting in the murder of over 6 million Jews as well as the systemic persecution of homosexuals and mentally and physically disabled individuals.
In recent times, Nazi imagery has been increasingly used as a symbol to inspire racial and religious hatred and in targeted attacks aimed at provoking fear throughout the Victorian community.
Such behaviour should never be tolerated and the messages of racial superiority and violence embodied by this imagery are now, and will always be, entirely incompatible with the values of this State.
Under this policy, the Victoria Liberal Nationals will amend the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001, to include a clear ban on the public display of the Nazi swastika and other Nazi symbols.
Consistent with the treatment of cases of existing serious vilification offences under the Act, this new proposed offence will incur a penalty of up to 6 months imprisonment.
This amendment will enable Victoria Police to remove and confiscate items they reasonably believe are in breach of this ban, creating an avenue for offensive materials to promptly be removed from public display.
Consistent with the existing law, the proposal will require an intention to incite hate or physical violence and will also contain exemptions to ensure legitimate use remains lawful, including for education, research and artistic purposes.
This policy will send a clear message about the values of Victoria and demonstrates the Victorian Liberal Nationals unwavering commitment to stand up against hate.
Given the importance of this issue, the Liberal Nationals are calling on the Andrews Labor Government to support the change and introduce new legislation at the earliest opportunity.
Comments attributable to Shadow Attorney-General, Edward O’Donohue:
“Victoria is a proudly diverse and tolerant community and Victorian Liberal Nationals will always act to protect that.
“A symbol can cause as much harm as a word and under these changes Victorians will have additional protections from these unique symbols of hate.”
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police, David Southwick:
“Every Victorian deserves to go about their daily life free from persecution and this clear ban will go a long way to keep our community free from hate.
“By providing additional powers to Victoria Police to remove Nazi swastika and other symbols of hate we will ensure such damaging imagery can be promptly removed from the community.”