Victoria‘s Attorney–General Jaclyn Symes declared on Monday that the government would be swiftly introducing new legislation banning the Nazi salute.
This follows an anti–transgender rights demonstration at the state parliament on Saturday, attended by members of the National Socialist Movement who repeatedly performed the Nazi salute.
Three people were arrested, including a 22–year–old Point Cook man and a 23–year–old Thornbury woman, both of whom are expected to be charged with a number of offences including assaulting police officers.
Fortunately, no injuries occurred. Symes spoke out against the “disgraceful and cowardly“ behaviour, and stated that the new law is being introduced to ensure Victorians feel safe and included in their society.
Opposition leader John Pesutto declared his party‘s support of the legislation, citing the need for limits to free speech when it comes to inciting hate and violence.
The Anti–Defamation Commission chairperson, Dvir Abramovich, praised the move, calling it a “first good step“ in the fight against extremism. This announcement comes after Victoria became the first state in the country to ban the Nazi swastika in December last year.
Those found displaying the symbol in public are liable for fines of nearly $22,000, 12 months‘ imprisonment, or both.