NSW Parliament to investigate banning Nazi flags statewide

May 17, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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In the NSW State Parliament this week,  Shadow Treasurer and NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel deputy chair Walt Secord welcomed the Berejiklian Government’s decision to investigate banning the public display of Nazi flags in NSW.

Nazi flag in Sydney suburb of Newton

Mr Secord said he would like to see the review completed before the end of the year.

In mid-April, Mr Secord called on the NSW Government to undertake a formal investigation into ways to ban the public display of Nazi flags. Shortly afterwards, the NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman confirmed that the NSW Government would conduct an investigation.

Since January, there have been four incidents in NSW and Victoria, where the Nazi flag was displayed publicly. The NSW incidents were in Newtown and in Wagga Wagga.

Mr Secord said there are laws in some European countries including Germany, Austria, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Ukraine – where it is unlawful to publicly fly Nazi flags. It is not illegal to fly a Nazi flag in Australia.

Mr Secord made the remarks in the NSW Parliament during the two-day sitting on the COVID-19 laws. He was speaking on the COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures—Treasurer) Bill 2020.

In the NSW Parliament, Mr Secord said while COVID crisis had “brought out the best in most Australians, it also brought out the worst in a minority”.

Walt Secord

“While the community pulled together, there was an emergence of ugly racism against the Chinese community and bizarre right-wing conspiracy theorists targeting the Jewish community.

“I sincerely hope the Attorney General, Mr Mark Speakman, follows through on his April promise to undertake an investigation into banning the public display of the Nazi flag.” Mr Secord said.

Mr Secord said: “On a positive note, we have witnessed the best of Australia throughout this disaster. On the street, we have waved at and engaged with our neighbours, whom we have seen in various ways over many years but probably have never spoken to before. We spoke to them from safe distances.”

Outside the NSW Parliament, Mr Secord said: “The Nazi flag is deeply offensive to veterans who fought against fascism and was an affront to survivors of the Holocaust and their descendants.

“The Nazi flag is an emblem of genocide and racism. The decision to fly a Nazi flag is a simple expression of hatred.”

Mr Secord said he believed that there could be rare occasions for exemptions such as historical film production or for theatrical purposes such as a performance of Anne Frank – but he could not see any other reason to display a Nazi flag in NSW outside your home or in a community space.

 

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