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Nazi Symbols And Gestures To Be Banned In Victoria

Victorians who perform a Nazi symbol or gesture in public will face hefty fines or imprisonment under new legislation set to be introduced this week.

Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes will introduce the Summary Offences (Nazi Salute Prohibition) Bill 2023 to parliament on Tuesday.

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Under the legislation, Victorians will face fines of more than $23,000, 12 months’ imprisonment, or both if caught intentionally displaying Nazi gestures or symbols in public.

Anything which closely resembles a Nazi symbol or gesture will be banned, “ensuring people who deliberately try to circumvent the ban and spread hate are punished”.

Exceptions will apply if the performance or display of a Nazi symbol or gesture is done for a genuine academic, artistic, educational, or scientific purpose, or for publishing a fair and accurate report of any matter in the public interest.

“Victorians have zero tolerance for the glorification of hateful ideology. We’re making sure people who use these symbols and gestures to harass, intimidate and incite hate are held accountable for their cowardly behaviour,” Ms Symes said.

“While we wish making these laws wasn’t necessary, we will always tackle antisemitism, hatred and racism head-on – because all Victorians deserve to feel accepted, safe and included.”

The legislation will come into immediate effect and receiving Royal Assent so Victoria Police can enforce the ban as soon as possible.

Police will be able to direct people to remove a Nazi symbol or gesture if they genuinely believe an offence is being committed, and can also arrest and lay charges.

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