Keep NSW Safe

May 29, 2017 by Henry Benjamin
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A submission to the NSW Parliament by Keep NSW Safe is calling for a section to be inserted into the NSW  Crimes Act to cover instances of crimes involving racism, sexual preferences, law enforcement agencies and other categories.

Vic Alhadeff

Keep NSW Safe comprises of 31 organisations including The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies and the Council of Christians and Jews Inc. plus two individuals.

J-Wire understands the submission will call on the NSW Crimes Act to regard it as a crime if a person or persons  intentionally or recklessly promote violence against a person or group of people based on: race, colour or ethnic origin; religious belief; homosexuality; HIV/AIDS; transgender identity or if the people are members of the Australian Defence Force, law enforcement agency or intelligence agency and various other categories. The maximum sentence would be increased from six months to seven years.

Vic Alhadeff, spokesperson for the Keep NSW Safe campaign and CEO of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, commented: “It is simply unacceptable that a person can publicly promote violence against another Australian and the law is powerless to do anything about it. That is why 31 community groups and prominent personalities have combined forces in this unprecedented alliance. We are calling on the NSW government to honour a commitment to make the promotion of racist violence a crime. The government has acknowledged that the law is unworkable and now is the time to fix it. Either we oppose giving platforms to bigotry and violence or we don’t. We are all at risk if the law cannot protect us. There is a choice to be made.”

Section 20D of NSW Crimes Act was entered in to law in 1989 under the Greiner Liberal government in 1989. There has never been a prosecution.

Fairfax Media reported that NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman had said he was “keen to resolve the section 20D issue quickly” after receiving the expert report this week.

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