New legislation

Qld to ban swastika

Queensland will be the third Australian state, following Victoria and NSW, to announce legislation banning the public display of the swastika.

Swastikas daubed in Logan, Queensland, last year.
Swastikas daubed in Logan, Queensland, last year.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said a new bill banning the public display of the swastika will help combat the “evil” of Nazism.

The legislation will be introduced as part of a series of measures to combat hate crimes and vilification in the state. Queensland is the third state to announce such legislation, following Victoria and NSW.

“Evil triumphs when good people do nothing. We will not do nothing and allow this evil to grow,” Palaszczuk said.

“These crimes are not harmless and nor is the ideology behind [them]. They are to be called out, confronted, and condemned.”

Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies (QJBD) president Jason Steinberg said the proposed new laws are “a step forward”.

“it is very encouraging to know the government has no tolerance for hate in our society,” he said.

“New laws will empower the police to be a useful tool in countering the proliferation of extremist ideologies.”

Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Peter Wertheim said, “It will be important for the legislation to be flexible enough to ban not only the Hakenkreuz but also other well-known Nazi symbols, including those that have been developed online.

“Equally important will be the need to train police to recognise Nazi symbols in a variety of real and virtual contexts, and to adopt a zero tolerance approach to offenders.”

Incidents of antisemitism have been on the rise in Queensland, including the flying of a Nazi flag over a synagogue in Brisbane, and posters on the Gold Coast depicting the swastika and antisemitic stereotypes.

A survey conducted in 2021 by the QJBD revealed that six in 10 Jews in Queensland have been a victim of racial abuse and vilification.

read more: