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WA to ban display and possession of Nazi symbols

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The West Australian government will introduce legislation to ban the display and possession of Nazi symbols, with some exceptions.

The government said the display of such symbols was offensive to many people, particularly the Jewish community, Holocaust survivors and veterans who fought against fascism.

Under the new legislation Nazi symbols, including the swastika, will be prohibited from being displayed with penalties for those who contravene the law.

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The planned new laws will also cover the display of Nazi symbols on tattoos.

WA Attorney General John Quigley said the government was determined to clamp down on "hate groups which seek to spread fear, division, and violence in our multicultural society".

"We will continue to work with stakeholder groups during the drafting of the new laws to ensure we strike the right balance between banning offensive behaviour and preserving legitimate uses of the swastika," he said.

Penalties for the display and possession of Nazi will include potential prison sentences.

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But the government said it recognised there were legitimate purposes for the display or possession of a Nazi symbol, such as genuine academic or educational purposes, buying or selling bona fide second world war memorabilia, or publishing fair and accurate media reports of matters of public interest.

Both Victoria and New South Wales have passed laws recently to criminalise the display of Nazi symbols.

Queensland and Tasmania have both said they will do the same.



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