NSW State Parliament to take public evidence on Nazi symbol ban bill

December 7, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
Read on for article

A NSW Parliament inquiry into legislation to ban the display of Nazi and neo-Nazi symbols and flags – the first such bill in Australia – is underway.

Nazi flag in the Sydney suburb of Newton

The Standing Committee on Social Issues will take written submissions until 12 January 2022 and a public hearing will take place on 3 February 2022 – with a final report on 22 February 2022.

The Crimes Amendment (Display of Nazi Symbols) Bill 2021 – which has been put forward by NSW Shadow Minister for Police and Counter Terrorism, Walt Secord, who is also deputy chair of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel and the NSW Patron of the Labor Israel Action Committee.

The bill seeks to prohibit the public display of a symbol of, or associated with, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, the Third Reich or Neo-Nazism (a Nazi symbol), except in certain circumstances. There are special protections for the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain faiths.

The bill has been the subject of several years of consultation, discussion and advice from a wide range of Jewish and Indian community groups including the Hindu Council of Australia and the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.

It was specifically designed to ban the hooked cross – the Hakenkreuz. There are also exemptions for academic, research and artistic purposes.

Many European countries have had similar laws for decades, including Germany, Austria and France where it is unlawful to publicly fly Nazi flags. However, there are no Australian laws.

There is also an online survey for members of the public to make comments.  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BHLQLPS

Mr Secord said the hearing, written submissions and the public survey would provide an opportunity for members of the public to express their support for the legislation – with the rise in recent neo-Nazi and extremist activity in NSW.

CEO Darren Bark and former President and Honorary Life Director Peter Wertheim will be representing the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies at the public inquiry, alongside a submission being prepared for the Committee to review.

Darren Bark told J-Wire: “This follows our support for the Bill, and the collaborative work we have undertaken with the Hindu Council in NSW to provide joint feedback.

We look forward to the discussion and the implementation of this important legislation.”

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

Got something to say about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.