‘A matter of urgency’

Senate committee recommends federal Nazi symbols ban

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton urges government to act immediately; says Coalition will support a government bill

A Nazi flag flying in the Victorian town of Beulah earlier this year sparked
renewed calls for a swastika ban.
A Nazi flag flying in the Victorian town of Beulah in 2020.

A senate committee has recommended the federal government introduce a bill banning Nazi symbols “as a matter of urgency”.

But the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee has rejected a bill introduced by the coalition back in March, saying that while it “wholeheartedly supports the intent of this bill” it was concerned by “a number of the elements” within it.

“Evidence received by the committee raised a number of questions and concerns related to the scope and enforceability of the bill, particularly with regard to the bill’s lack of definition around what would constitute a Nazi symbol,” the report said.

The committee also noted that “legislation alone will not be sufficient to stem the growth of nationalist and racist violent extremism”.

“To be effective, such legislation should be accompanied by a broader suite of measures, including education and awareness raising,” the report said.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton urged the government to act immediately and said the Coalition would support a government bill.

“The government has the full resources of the Attorney General’s department, they have scores of lawyers, they can come up with a bill today,” he said.

“Frankly, they could draft a bill in 24 hours. They haven’t done and I would encourage them to do it.”

The committee’s report followed a consultation process to which the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council and a number of other Jewish organisation made submissions.

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