Queensland to hold inquiry into race hate and online vilification

Queenslanders will be asked to speak up about horrific experiences of hate crimes and vilification as part of an inquiry launched to investigate if the state’s laws are strong enough.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman said Queenslanders would be given the opportunity to have their say.

“(The committee will) consider the impacts of serious vilification and hate crimes on a wide range of groups, including women, people with a disability, older people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and the LGBTIQ+ community,” she said.

“The committee will review and investigate our existing laws, to determine whether they are operating effectively, consistent with community expectations and whether they are suitable to deal with modern challenges, such as online vilification.”

In Queensland, it is not illegal to own or display hateful material such as the Nazi swastika and gaps in hate crime laws have been blamed for low levels of reporting.

A racist neo-Nazi banner and graffiti were found in Brisbane’s south earlier this year and a neo-Nazi group has previously targeted Toowoomba, with the Anti-Defamation Commission warning of “ticking time bombs” in the community.

A Victorian parliamentary report last month recommended displaying the Nazi swastika become a criminal offence, along with tougher laws against hate speech.

Read the article by Felicity Caldwell in the Brisbane Times.