Police Offences Amendment (Nazi Symbol Prohibition) Bill 2023 - Have your say

The Tasmanian Government is committed to ensuring that public consultation processes are open and transparent and we are seeking your input on proposed amendments to the Police Offences Act 1935, inserting a new offence prohibiting the display of Nazi symbols.

Police Offences Amendment (Nazi Symbol Prohibition) Bill 2023

There has been a reported rise in anti-Semitic behavior in Australia in recent years, including instances in Tasmania. The Tasmanian Government strongly condemns the deliberate use of hate symbols to promote hate and cause fear in our community.

The Police Offences Amendment (Nazi Symbol Prohibition) Bill 2023 (the Bill) proposes to amend the Police Offences Act 1935 to insert an offence prohibiting the display of Nazi symbols by a public act and without legitimate public purpose, if the person knows, or reasonably ought to know, that the symbol is a Nazi symbol.

The Bill was developed with reference to the different models used in Victoria and New South Wales, which have passed legislation in this area.

The Bill clearly states that the display of a swastika in connection with Buddhism, Hinduism or Jainism does not constitute the display of a Nazi symbol. This acknowledges the continued importance of the swastika to the Buddhist, Hindu and Jain communities; and how the ancient swastika differs from the Nazi Hakenkreuz (‘hooked cross’ or tilted form of the swastika).

‘Nazi symbol’ means a symbol associated with the Nazis or with Nazi ideology. This is because there are other symbols than just the swastika that are associated with Nazi ideology, such as the ‘black sun’ symbol.

The offence will apply to a display that is a public act. Public act includes any form of communication to the public; and any conduct observable by the public; and the distribution or dissemination of any matter to the public. For example, a display of a Nazi symbol on private property that is observable by the public (ie from a public footpath) is display by a public act, and is covered by the Bill.

The Bill provides a non-exhaustive meaning of a ‘legitimate public purpose’, which includes a display done reasonably and in good faith for a genuine academic, artistic, religious, scientific, cultural, educational or law enforcement purpose. For example, the display of WWII text books with a Hakenkreuz on the cover is not captured by the Bill.

The Bill provides that a person convicted of committing the offence is liable to a maximum penalty of 20 penalty units or imprisonment for a maximum term of 3 months; or if the person has previously been convicted of the offence within 6 months, liable to a maximum penalty of 40 penalty units or imprisonment for a maximum of 6 months.

The Bill provides police officers with appropriate powers to enforce the offence, so that a police officer is able to detain or search a person that the police officer has reasonable grounds to believe is contravening or has contravened the prohibition, amongst other necessary actions.

The Bill will commence on proclamation.

Download the draft Bill: Police Offences Amendment (Nazi Symbol Prohibition) Bill 2023 (PDF, 140.4 KB).

How to make a submission

We must receive all written submissions on the on the draft Police Offences Amendment (Nazi Symbol Prohibition) Bill 2023 by 5pm on Monday, 13 February 2023.

You can make your submission either online, by email or by post.

Submit online

All fields are required

your can upload only docx, doc or pdf and not larger than 10 MB

Important: By submitting your file, you agree to publish it on this website.

Email

Email your submission to haveyoursay@justice.tas.gov.au

Post

Mail your submission to

Department of Justice
Office of the Secretary
GPO Box 825
Hobart TAS 7001

Publishing submissions

Other than indicated below, submissions will be treated as public information and will be published on the Department of Justice website.

Submissions will be published once the Government’s consideration of submissions has concluded.

No personal information other than an individual’s name or the organisation making a submission will be published.

For further information, please read the Tasmanian Government Public Submissions Policy (external link).

Important information to note

  1. Your name (or the name of the organisation) will be published unless you request otherwise.
  2. In the absence of a clear indication that a submission is intended to be treated as confidential (or parts of the submission), the Department will treat the submission as public.
  3. If you would like your submission treated as confidential, whether in whole or in part, please indicate this in writing at the time of making your submission clearly identifying the parts of your submission you want to remain confidential and the reasons why. In this case, your submission will not be published to the extent of that request.
  4. Copyright in submissions remains with the author(s), not with the Tasmanian Government.
  5. The Department will not publish, in whole or in part, submissions containing defamatory or offensive material. If your submission includes information that could enable the identification of other individuals then either all or parts of the submission will not be published.

Accessibility of submissions

The Government recognises that not all individuals or groups are equally placed to access and understand information. We are therefore committed to ensuring Government information is accessible and easily understood by people with diverse communication needs.

Where possible, please consider typing your submission in plain English and providing it in a format such as Microsoft Word or equivalent.

The Government cannot however take responsibility for the accessibility of documents provided by third parties.

Information provided to the Government may be provided to an applicant under the provisions of the Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI). If you have indicated that you wish all or part of your submission to be treated as confidential, your statement detailing the reasons may be taken into account in determining whether or not to release the information in the event of an RTI application for assessed disclosure. You may also be contacted to provide any further comment.