New South Wales promotes a measure that criminalizes the swastika

New South Wales promotes a measure that criminalizes the swastika

Australia’s most populous state took a major step toward banning Nazi symbols on Tuesday when the lower house of the New South Wales parliament passed a bill that would criminalize their display.

The bill must be approved by the Upper House to become a law.

Victoria, Australia’s second most populous state, was the first to pass a law banning public displays of the Nazi swastika in June.

The states of Queensland and Tasmania have announced similar laws, which would mean that half of Australia’s eight states and territories and most of the Australian population would be banned from displaying Nazi symbols.

New South Wales Attorney General Mark Speakman told parliament on Tuesday that the Nazi swastika harassed and harassed members of the community, including those of Judaism. In 2020, NSW police received 31 reports of Nazi flag displays, including one from a house near a Sydney synagogue.

“Disgusting and reprehensible conduct is completely unacceptable in our community,” Speakman said.

The law would prohibit the use or display of Nazi flags or Nazi swastika memorabilia.

The law would allow the use of the symbol for religious and educational purposes. The swastika is an ancient and sacred symbol for Buddhists, Hindus, Jains and other religious communities.

Individuals would face up to 12 months in prison or a $11,000 ($7,670) fine for breaking the laws, while companies would face a $55,000 ($38,350) fine.

In amending the law, the laws have to be reviewed within three and a half years of their coming into force.

Victoria is fined 22,000 Australian dollars ($15,340) and 12 months in prison for displaying a Nazi swastika.

The Times of Israel