The Crimes Amendment (Publicly Threatening and Inciting Violence) Bill 2018 is now law.
Chief Executive Officer
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies
Individuals who incite or threaten violence against people based on their race, religion or sexuality will risk a three-year jail sentence under the new laws.
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff – spokesperson for the Keep NSW Safe campaign – said “This is a great day for NSW, a great day for Australia.
No one should ever have to live in fear because of who they are or what they believe.
The NSW government has made a powerful statement and said that incitement to violence will not be tolerated. Full credit to Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Attorney General Mark Speakman for identifying this gap in the law and full credit to the Labor Opposition and the minor parties for unanimously supporting this bill.”
Keep New South Wales Safe Alliance encompasses 31 community organisations and leaders.
With Alhadeff at its spokesman it has lobbied for the changes for three years.
The previous legislation had not produced a single prosecution.
The bill passed unanimously through both Houses of Parliament.
SYDNEY has been hit with a spate of vile anti-semitic and homophobic posters, but there’s almost nothing the authorities can do to prosecute the neo-Nazis responsible due to a quirk in the law.
Posters, some with images depicting the Holocaust and calling for people to murder Jews and gay people, have appeared in Sydney, Melbourne and regional Victoria and NSW, and law enforcement believe neo-Nazi group Antipodean Resistance is responsible.
But as Section 20D of NSW’s anti-discrimination law stands, there’s little police could do, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff told Miranda Live.
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“This is not about insulting people or defaming them — this is about inciting violence, it’s unacceptable that you can stand up in Martin Place and say “we should kill that group of Australians”,” he told Miranda Devine on her online radio show.
The incitement of violence is prohibited under Section 20D, but only if it can be proven that an offender committed a crime because they were told to do it.
Mr Alhadeff said the law needed to be changed to ensure “inciting violence” was actually recognised as a crime.
“There’s not a single charge or conviction under this act,” he said.
“Either we are living in Disneyland and everything is fine or something is wrong with the laws.”
A submission has now been lodged with the NSW government to change the Act.
Neo-Nazi group Antipodean Resistance has only cropped up in the past two years but has already attracted considerable attention and apparently set up training camps in Victoria and Queensland for new members.
Last year the white power group covered Macquarie Graduate School of Management in Nazi posters and painted a mural of a Nazi flag on a brick wall.
Domestic spy agency ASIO have also been monitoring the group since last year.
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What if the leader of a religious group addressed a public rally in Sydney and openly called for the murder of people of another faith?Unlikely in our democratic society, where we abide by the rule of law? Wouldn’t or couldn’t happen in the greatest country on the planet where 200 cultures live side by side in peace and tranquillity, embracing diversity and respecting each other’s right to be different? Think again. It does and it did. Right here in Sydney. A virulent outpouring of hatred. A chilling torrent of bile and abuse from a religious leader. All the while warning the targets of his venom about the fury and wrath – and violence – which would be heaped upon them, all supposedly in the name of truth and justice. The hate preacher’s version of truth and justice. And the most disturbing aspect of this appalling display of bigotry and blatant incitement to listeners to unleash acts of violence against the target group? Here was a prominent community leader, in a vicious harangue dripping with vitriol and condemnation, publicly whipping up a crowd to do his bidding and carry out violence against fellow-Australians, and the law turned its back. Worse yet – by completely failing to act, it effectively told him he was free to do it all over again the next morning. Which he and his colleagues have done. More than once.
IN a bile-filled rant, a Sydney preacher recently called for death to a group of Australians because of their ethnic identity. The law was unable to do anything about it. It was impotent, powerless to act.
Freedom of speech should never mean giving one the freedom to abuse others on the basis of race. And the likelihood of that happening in our country has just increased, writes Vic Alhadeff.
During my career as a newspaper editor, I kept a faded cutting pinned to the noticeboard above my desk.
Easily overlooked, it was insignificant amidst the maelstrom of articles, photographs and Post-it notes littering the canvass of my journalistic universe, each claiming attention for legitimate reasons.