The Victorian government is quick to enforce a Nazi salute ban


The Victorian government is quick to enforce a Nazi salute ban

Legislation banning Nazi salutes in Victoria will be expedited in the state parliament, but it will be months before it comes into force.

Victorian Attorney General Jacqueline Sims confirmed on Monday that the government would expand existing legislation banning Nazi swastikas to include the salute.

It comes after members of the National Socialist Movement repeatedly saluted on the steps of Victorian Parliament on Saturday in an anti-transgender rights rally.

Ms. Sims described the behavior as shameful and cowardly, suggesting that the salute was used to incite hatred.

She said the expanded legislation will ensure Victorians feel safe, welcome and included.

“We will consider how to do this carefully, with thoughtful consultation with a variety of groups and we will have more to say on the details of this legislation as we commit,” Sims said in a statement Monday.

Opposition Leader John Bisoto said the opposition would work constructively with the government if it moved to ban Nazi salutes.

“We are for free speech but every sane and sensible person would know that there has to be some restrictions on free speech,” he told ABC News Breakfast on Monday.

“People who engage in acts and gestures that incite hatred and violence will never be acceptable in our country.”

Anti-Defamation League chairman Dvir Abramovich welcomed the ban, saying the blunder had been corrected.

“There is no complete cure for the disease of extremism, but this law is a good first step,” he said in a statement.

“Now law enforcement will have the tools they asked for.”

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