Victoria is set to become the first state or territory in Australia to ban the public display of Nazi symbols.
The state government on Thursday confirmed it was working on new laws to ban Nazi symbols, such as the swastika, though exceptions will be made for educational or historical purposes, and for other uses.
The legislation will be presented to parliament during the first half of next year.
It comes after a parliamentary inquiry earlier this year recommended the ban, citing a recent rise in neo-Nazi activity.
The government will also take up another recommendation of the inquiry to extend the state’s anti-vilification protections beyond race and religion to cover areas such as sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability and HIV/AIDS status.
The government is also looking to make civil and criminal vilification easier to prove.
The inquiry was set up by the Legislative Assembly’s legal and social issues committee in 2019, just months after the government was powerless to stop a neo-Nazi music festival from taking place.
In January 2020, the police and the local council were also unable to stop a family from flying a Nazi flag above their home in the small town of Beulah.
Opposition police spokesman David Southwick welcomed the government’s commitment.