The Perrottet government’s bill to criminalise the purposeful display of Nazi symbols in public successfully passed through the Upper House on Thursday night with support from the state’;s Liberals, Labor MPs and members of the cross-bench.
The maximum penalty for the new offence will be 12 months’ imprisonment or a $11,000 fine or both for an individual; or a fine of $55,000 for a corporation.
NSW becomes the second state in Australia to pass the landmark legislation after Victoria in June.
NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman said the proposed amendment to the Crimes Act 1900, introduced by the NSW Government, will provide important, additional safeguards against hate speech and vilification in NSW.
“Hateful and vilifying conduct is completely unacceptable in our community,” Mr Speakman said.
“New South Wales is a place where everyone can expect protection and safety from serious vilification and hate crimes.”
NSW Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said this Bill reaffirms the NSW Government’s position that hate has no place in our tolerant multicultural society.
“This bill also serves another important purpose—to protect those that use a Swastika for religious and spiritual reasons including Buddhists, Hindus and Jains,” Mr Coure said.
“It clearly states that the displaying of a swastika in connection with these spiritualties will not be deemed a Nazi symbol.
“This provision safeguards these communities and ensures the enforcement of this law is done so appropriately.”
Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier and Member for Vaucluse, Gabrielle Upton said, “This bill is a clear statement from the NSW Government on behalf of the community that the display of Nazi symbols, and the hatred and bigotry they invoke and inspire, has absolutely no place in our community.”