Victorians who perform a Nazi salute in public will face hefty fines or up to a year in jail under proposed new laws that will be debated in parliament this week.
Five months after the gesture was used at a protest attended by neo-Nazis, the Andrews government will use the resumption of parliament to ban the Nazi salute, as well as other gestures and symbols used by the Nazi Party.
Anti-Nazi protesters march on a gym in Sunshine West in July. Credit: Luis Enrique Ascui
Holocaust survivors, Victoria Police and members of the Jewish community were consulted on the new laws, which will result in penalties of more than $23,000 or 12 months’ jail, or both, for anyone who intentionally displays or performs a Nazi symbol or gesture in public.
The legislation will include a carve-out for some groups including academics or actors. An exception will also be made for traders of historical memorabilia, or for publishing “a fair and accurate report” of matters deemed in the public interest.