A person could be jailed for six months for displaying the Nazi swastika under legislation proposed by NSW Labor to strike a blow against increasingly active far-right nationalists.
The Labor caucus and shadow cabinet this week approved draft legislation that would amend criminal laws to ban the public display of Nazi symbols, with exemptions for use of the swastika by religious communities.
The proposed law outlines a maximum penalty of six months in prison or a $5500 fine for displaying a Nazi symbol. An organisation could be fined $55,000.
“The Nazi flag is deeply offensive to all Australian and Allied veterans who fought and sacrificed to defeat fascism,” Labor’s police and counter-terrorism spokesman Walt Secord said.
“Displaying the symbols of an enemy that Australians died to defeat is an affront to them, to survivors of the Holocaust and to all of their collective descendants.”
Any public display, dissemination or wearing of the symbols, including on private property, would be captured by the prohibition.
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The draft legislation, which Mr Secord said was approved unanimously by Labor MPs and is now open for consultation, follows a similar announcement by the Victorian government that it would become the first Australian jurisdiction to legislate a ban on Nazi symbols.