The action of Neo-Nazi protesters in making brazen Sieg Heil salutes on the steps of the Victorian parliament has renewed focus on efforts to hamper extremism and vilification.
Most states and territories have enacted bans or are in the process of outlawing the display of Nazi symbols, with the salute covered in some jurisdictions.
All existing and proposed bans make exceptions including for Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and other groups for whom the swastika is an important symbol predating its appropriation by Nazis.
* Victoria was the first state to enact a ban on December 29, 2022. It’s a criminal offence to display Nazi symbols in public, which carries a maximum penalty of a fine of almost $22,000, 12 months imprisonment, or both. The government is moving to amend the law to ban the Nazi salute as well.
* NSW banned Nazi flags and symbols in August, with offenders facing penalties of up to a year in behind bars or a fine of up to $11,000.
* Proposed laws tabled in the Queensland parliament would ban the display, distribution or publication of extremist hate symbols, with a maximum penalty of three years in jail. Social media and tattoos are covered by the laws, as well as the Nazi salute in certain circumstances.
* A bill before the Tasmanian parliament would ban Nazi symbols and the salute with those convicted facing fines of more than $3500 or three months’ imprisonment. Penalties would be doubled for repeat offenders.
* The West Australian government pledged to criminalise the display or possession of Nazi symbols in January, with jail time included among the proposed penalties. Displaying tattoos would also be covered by the bill.
* Laws were introduced to the ACT parliament in November to ban the display of Nazi symbols with a maximum penalty proposed of 12 months in jail.
The federal opposition also attempted to bring on debate for a private member’s bill banning Nazi symbols last week. The push failed despite all sides agreeing it was an important issue.