Statement on anti-vilification inquiry to ban the Nazi swastika

The Victorian Liberal Nationals welcome the recommendation from the Parliamentary Inquiry into Victoria’s Anti-Vilification Protections to establish a ban on the public display of the Nazi swastika.

In February 2020, the Liberal Nationals announced a policy position to ban the public display of the Nazi swastika as an important step against rising incidents of racial and religious intolerance across Victoria.

In recent times, Victorians have seen examples in Geelong, Beulah, the Grampians, Cranbourne and Kyabram where the Nazi swastika has been used in a deliberate attempt to intimidate others, with the Executive Council of Australia Jewry finding a significant increase of cases of serious anti-Semitic incidents across 2019-20.

It is also important the Committee has acknowledged the significant failings within the education system to identify and reform attitudes of intolerance of anti-Semitic bullying and recommended a focus on early education to address these issues.

These findings follow recent warnings from ASIO Director-General, Mike Burgess that Neo-Nazis are emerging as one of Australia’s most challenging security threats, with small cells across the country meeting to salute the Nazi flag and share their hateful ideology.

Today’s report is an important step forward, yet after more than 14 months of inaction the Andrews Labor Government must now work with the Victorian Liberal Nationals to see an effective ban urgently introduced as law.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police and Community Safety, David Southwick:

“After a long battle we are one step closer to seeing a ban on the Nazi swastika, a universal symbol of hate which has no place in our proudly multicultural state of Victoria.

“Every Victorian deserves to go about their daily lives free from the spectre of fear, intolerance or hate and the time to ban the swastika is now.”

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Neil Angus:

“These long overdue reforms represent a blueprint towards stronger anti-vilification protections and a more tolerant, cohesive community.

“No Victorian should be the victim of hate because of who they are and their heritage – the government must now implement a ban on the inappropriate use of the Nazi swastika as a priority.”

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