The Tasmanian Liberal Government will introduce legislation to criminalise the display of Nazi symbols, including the swastika, when used for hate and fear.
“The display, when used for hate and fear rather than educational purposes, or the promotion and sale of the swastika or other hate symbols, is offensive and distressing and a breach of community and moral standards.” Said Attorney-General, Elise Archer.
“Our Government strongly condemns the display and sale of these symbols when used for hate and fear, and recognises this material is highly offensive and causes immense distress.”
“This is an issue that is deeply concerning to me as Attorney-General as well as many Tasmanians, and I will take action to ensure our current laws appropriately reflect community expectations.”
Work is already underway to investigate the most appropriate option to prohibit the display of Nazi symbols here in Tasmania, which will include looking at any changes proposed in other jurisdictions, such as the recent announcements in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.
“Of course, we will consult broadly to ensure all Tasmanians can have their say on this important matter before introducing any measures.”
Importantly, the legislation will need to distinguish the display of Nazi symbols when used in a hateful way, to symbols similar to the swastika that have profound meaning in some religions, including Hinduism and Buddhism.
“I also acknowledge that any criminalisation of the display of Nazi symbols will recognise where there is a genuine need to display a symbol, including for historic or educational purposes.”
This includes the display of Holocaust memorabilia as part of our Government’s proposed Tasmanian Holocaust Centre which will serve to educate the public and honour the victims and survivors.
“This legislative reform will be significant for Tasmania and reaffirm our Government’s strong opposition to the deliberate use of hate symbols to cause hate and fear in our community.”