Queensland moves to criminalise Nazi hate symbols

By Melissa Coade

May 27, 2022

Leanne Linard
Queensland Minister for Multicultural Affairs Leanne Linard. (AAP Image/Darren England)

Annastacia Palaszczuk has described Nazism as ‘evil’ in announcing her government would ban the public display of Nazi ideology and its symbols. 

It will be illegal to display or depict hate symbols in Queensland, under new laws set to be introduced in parliament later this year. 

The state premier said while Queensland may be a freedom-loving society, nobody had the right to spread fear and hate.

“These crimes are not harmless and nor is the ideology behind it,” Palaszczuk said.

The new criminal offence comes following a recommendation made by a parliamentary committee inquiry into serious vilification and hate crimes.

A total of 17 recommendations were made by the committee about the efficacy of existing laws in Queensland about hate crimes and serious vilification.  

Attorney-general Shannon Fentiman said the laws banning symbols like the swastika would be introduced following consultation with legal experts and other stakeholders. 

“We are committed to a Queensland that is harmonious, fair and inclusive, not one where individuals or groups are vilified based on their race, religion, language, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation or gender,” Fentiman said. 

The A-G noted the new laws would strengthen the state’s existing framework banning hate speech and the committee’s findings showed the law should be improved. 

“Some of the recommendations will require more detailed analysis once the Queensland Human Rights Commission review of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 is complete so we can consider proposed reforms holistically to ensure consistency in our approach to these important issues,” Fentiman said. 

Multicultural affairs minister Leanne Linard added because swastika symbols had a profound meaning in the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain Dharma religious communities, any new legislation would ensure it could be used in ‘respectful circumstances’.

I meet and work with people from across our ethnically diverse state every day and have heard first-hand of the devastating effects of vilification and hate crimes,” Linard said.

“I look forward to the legislation being introduced later this year.”


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