Secord: NSW should follow Victoria parliament recommendation to create a criminal offence prohibiting display of Nazi symbols

March 3, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk

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NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel deputy chair and NSW Shadow Treasurer Walt Secord has called on the Berejiklian Government to “stop stalling and get on with job of banning the Nazi swastika flag in NSW”.

Mr Secord has been campaigning for NSW to ban the public display of the swastika.

Mr Secord made the comments after the Victoria Parliament’s Legal and Social Issues Committee’s report – “Inquiry into anti-vilification protections” this week (March 3) recommended creating a criminal offence that prohibits displaying Nazi symbols in Victoria.

It reported: The Committee believes it is important to send a clear message to the community that Nazi symbolism is not acceptable in any form and has wide-ranging, negative societal impacts. It recommends that the Victorian Government establish a criminal offence that prohibits the display of symbols of Nazi ideology, including the Nazi swastika, with considered exceptions to the law. This would allow Victoria Police to immediately remove Nazi symbols that are on deliberate display to vilify targeted communities.

Last year, documents obtained under freedom of information laws by Mr Secord showed that in a two-year period, NSW police had reported 112 incidents of anti-Semitism – including 31 Nazi flag incidents.

This included ugly incidents in Wagga Wagga from a water tower and a backyard of a Newtown home just 350 metres from a synagogue.

In October, Mr Speakman said while he would investigate banning the swastika, but would await the Victorian Government’s Legal and Social Issues Committee inquiry into anti-vilification protections, stating “the Government will closely consider any recommendations it may make on this issue”.

Mr Secord said: “Firstly, I want to say to the Victorian Parliament: `bravo’. This is a historic recommendation, which NSW should follow immediately.

Now that the Victorian report has been handed down, I say to the Berejiklian Government get on with it and ban the swastika.

Other than making a historical film, there is no proper reason to fly a Nazi flag. It is a disgusting activity and a universal symbol of genocide and hatred.

It is mind-boggling that it is against the law to fly a Nazi flag in France, Austria and Germany, but you can do so in NSW.

Not only is the Nazi flag deeply offensive to the survivors of the Shoah, it is also an affront to those who risked or lost their lives fighting this scourge.

Mr Secord offered to work in the spirit of bipartisanship with Vaucluse MP and former Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton to convince her Premier and Attorney-General to ban the Nazi flag.

“The Berejiklian Government promised months ago to act; now it is time to act.”

Mr Secord added that there are many groups who have expressed their support for the Nazi flag ban including Dr Dvir Abramovich of the Anti-Defamation Commission,; the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and the NSW Association of Jewish Ex-servicemen.

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