Queensland to review vilification and hate laws

April 22, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Queensland Government’s referral of the state’s vilification and hate crime laws to a parliamentary committee for review has been welcomed by the Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies.

Jason Steinberg

The review is a result of the work done by the Cohesive Communities Coalition, which included a representative from the QJBD, to advocate for stronger protections for the state’s diverse communities from hate crime and vilification.

QJBD Vice President Jason Steinberg said the forthcoming review had the potential to provide better protection for the Jewish community and other multicultural groups.

“We are seeing a rise in antisemitic incidents across South East Queensland, which is a grave concern to our community,” Jason said.

“Sadly, Jewish people know all too well what antisemitism and hatred mean. And, in Queensland, we still have Holocaust survivors who can bear witness to the evil consequences that follow when people are dehumanised and attacked simply because of their race or religion.

“Antisemitism is like an early warning siren for racism and Queensland’s current laws provide little to deter people who peddle hate. The existing laws also make it difficult to report incidents, with victims feeling they have nowhere to turn for protection or to seek justice.

“The Queensland Government’s review is a great step forward to having clearer laws and penalties for hate crimes, more options for victim protection, as well as measures to improve the way hate crimes are policed.

“Ultimately, stronger laws will help prevent the harm caused by vilification and hate crime, which can be deeply felt and long-lasting.”

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