The Guardian: National ban on Nazi salute and insignia would help prevent far-right radicalisation, Asio says

Australia’s domestic intelligence agency Asio has welcomed a Coalition bill to ban Nazi symbols including the Sieg Heil salute, telling a parliamentary inquiry it would help prevent recruitment and radicalisation by far-right extremists.

The Victorian Government announced thay would implement a ban of the salute after a group of men from the National Socialist Network repeatedly performed the salute on the steps of Victoria’s parliament last month. This prompted shadow attorney general, Michaelia Cash to introduce a federal bill. 

The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties welcomed the bill but said it was a “symbolic at best” response to Nazi ideology, and expressed concerns about its implementation. It said any decision to prosecute should be made by the director of public prosecutions and not by police.

“We consider this to be a problem and one which could open the state up to unnecessary critique from far-right extremists for acting oppressively in a nontransparent way,” the council’s submission said.

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