Banning the display of Nazi symbols at a federal level has been recommended by a Senate Committee tasked with assessing the suitability of a potential ban.
The Committee was established after a Liberal Senator put forward legislation for a ban earlier this year.
It comes as most Australian states have either passed or are considering laws to ban Nazi symbols.
The Committee’s view
The Committee, mostly made up of Labor and Greens Senators, said they “wholeheartedly” supported the intent of the tabled legislation.
However, they raised concerns about the practicality and enforcement functions included within the bill. This includes a lack of clarity over the enforcement of symbols that have been used by Nazis but are also used for religious purposes.
For these reasons, they recommended that the current legislation not be passed and that the Government urgently introduce a bill that takes the Committee’s considerations into account.
A Liberal Senator on the Committee disagreed with the recommendations. He said the current bill could instead be passed with amendments accounting for the Committee’s concerns.
Where do bans on Nazi symbols exist?
Inserting bans on the public display of Nazi symbols has become a priority of various state governments in recent years.
This includes Victoria and NSW, which both passed laws banning their public display last year. Those breaching the laws could be liable for thousands of dollars in fines and up to 12 months imprisonment.
Legislation to outlaw public Nazi symbols has also been introduced in South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, and the ACT.