The Australian state of Queensland is set to ban the public display of the swastika and other hate symbols, making the offense a criminal act.
The measure is being enacted as part of a group of recommendations made by a governmental committee examining incitement and hate crimes, the Brisbane Times reported.
“As a community, we cannot tolerate the deliberate use of these symbols to promote hatred towards communities that have been persecuted and cause those people fear,” Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman said.
The legislation is partially in response to several recent incidents, including a Nazi flag that was flown over a Brisbane synagogue in October 2021.
There has been a push in Australia to ban the swastika amid an uptick in antisemitic acts and neo-Nazi activities.
In September 2021, Victoria became the country’s first state to ban the public display of the swastika after it experienced a rise in extremism.
The new law was part of a comprehensive package of reforms designed to eliminate “hateful behavior” and discrimination based on race, religion, orientation, illness, or disability.
The ban on displaying Nazi symbols came in part due to the government’s recognition that there had been a recent rise in neo-Nazi activity, leading to more “hate behavior.”
The penalties in Victoria for intentionally displaying a Nazi symbol in public are up to a year in prison and a $22,000 fine.
Fentiman announced that the Queensland government intends to implement a similar measure later in the year after consulting legal experts and community groups.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that perpetrators would face serious punishment.
"These crimes are not harmless and nor is the ideology behind it," she said.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)