A Nazi flag flying over a home in the Victorian town of Beulah last year.

Labor in no rush to ban displays of Nazi swastika

A ban on flying Nazi swastika flags and other symbols will be several months away at least, with the state Labor government cool on Sunday to opposition calls for swift action.

The government says it will wait for a review of Victoria’s hate-speech laws already under way in the state Parliament before it considers new bans or crackdowns.

But the state Liberal opposition, backed by Jewish and anti-racist groups, say that urgent action is needed to combat what it calls a rising tide of hatred in the community.

The Liberals plan to bring laws into the Parliament that would give Victoria police the power to tear down Nazi flags and with potential criminal penalties of up to six months in jail for extremists caught flying the hate symbol.

The Nazi insignia pushed itself onto the agenda last month when local and states authorities found themselves powerless under the law to act against a householder in the remote Mallee town of Beulah who flew a flag emblazoned with the Swastika above their home.

The Anti-Defamation Commission’s Dvir Abramovich, who has campaigned for two years to criminalise the public displays of the Nazi swastika and other Third Reich insignia, welcomed the Liberal party announcement on Sunday.

Read the article by Noel Towell in the Brisbane Times.