New criminal offences will help keep Canberrans safe after the ACT Legislative Assembly passed legislation prohibiting the public display of Nazi symbols.
Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury said both physical and online displays of Nazi symbols in public will now be prohibited, with police given the power to remove the symbols from display.
“The new offence sends a strong message to the ACT community that we do not tolerate the public display of symbols intended to incite hatred,” Attorney-General Rattenbury said.
“Everyone has the right to feel safe and live their lives in our community free of intimidation and threats.
“The offence protects ACT community members including Jewish people, people with a disability and LGBTIQ people, from the harm caused by public displays of Nazi symbols.”
Following the passage of the Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 by the Assembly, the maximum penalty for the public display of Nazi symbols is a $19,200 fine or 12 months in prison, or both.
The new offence also applies to people in the ACT who broadcast a Nazi symbol to a public audience beyond Canberra’s borders, such as on social media.
People will still be able to publicly display swastikas for legitimate reasons, such as people of Jain, Buddhist and Hindu faiths, teachers, artists and protesters.