Albanese Government acts on hate symbols

The Albanese Government today introduced a comprehensive package of reforms to protect the community from those who seek to spread hate and radicalise others to commit acts of terror.

The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Prohibited Hate Symbols and Other Measures) Bill 2023 makes it a criminal offence to publicly display Nazi and Islamic State symbols or trade in items bearing these symbols.

These symbols – the Nazi hakenkreuz (or hooked cross), the Nazi double sig rune (or ‘SS’ bolts) and the Islamic State flag – are widely recognised as symbols of hatred, violence and racism which are incompatible with Australia’s multicultural and democratic society.

There is no place in Australia for symbols that glorify the horrors of the Holocaust or human rights atrocities.

This ban will not apply to the display and use of the sacred swastika which is of spiritual significance to religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

The Bill also creates new offences for accessing and sharing violent extremist material online. These new offences will allow law enforcement to intervene earlier and disrupt violent extremists before their actions place the community in danger and inspire others to follow this dangerous path of radicalisation.

The Bill also amends the terrorist organisation listing framework. The Bill provides that the listing of a terrorist organisation will apply indefinitely unless revoked. The current sunsetting date of 3 years is unnecessarily short and does not reflect the longevity of terrorist organisations.

This legislation celebrates Australia’s harmonious, multicultural society by sending a strong message that hate and violence will not be tolerated.

The legislation will be referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security for an inquiry.

The Bill is the culmination of work across government that began more than six months ago and I look forward to support across the Parliament for these important reforms.

/Public Release. View in full here.