Nazi Salute Banned in Victoria Amid Rise in Extremist Gangs

Victoria is set to ban any public display of the Nazi salute, after fast-tracking new laws prohibiting the action.

The state’s upper house passed the bill overnight, making it illegal to publicly display or perform a Nazi salute. Those who break the rules will face penalties exceeding $23,000, up to 12 months of imprisonment, or both.

The ban will encompass a wide range of symbols and gestures historically used by the Nazi Party and its paramilitary organizations, including any symbols or gestures closely resembling Nazi imagery. Exceptions will be made if the performance or display of a Nazi symbol or gesture is done in good faith for genuine academic, artistic, educational, or scientific purposes.

An alleged far-right gang is pictured at the Grampians in Victoria. Credit: Facebook.
An alleged far-right gang is pictured at the Grampians in Victoria. Credit: Facebook.

It comes amid a rise in far-right extremism across the state, which has become home to nearly a dozen known antisemitic gangs.

Long COVID lockdowns and the cost-of-living crisis have been blamed for the sharp increase in recruitment and radicalisation.

Premier Jacinta Allan confirmed the historic change on social media on Tuesday night.

“Parliament has passed legislation to ban the Nazi salute and other gestures and symbols used by the Nazi Party,” Allan said.

“I wish making these new laws wasn’t necessary, but we’ll always do what we need to do to tackle hatred, antisemitism and racism.”

Victoria became the first Australian state or territory to ban the public display of Nazi symbols last year. Earlier this year, the federal government announced its intention to introduce legislation that would prohibit Nazi symbols and the sale of goods featuring Nazi symbols for profit.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus emphasized that addressing far-right extremism is a top priority for the federal government.


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