Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

Shadow Attorney-General

Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Senator for Western Australia


28 NOVEMBER 2023


Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has agreed to amend his Government’s Prohibited Hate Symbols legislation in response to the Coalition’s call to ban the Nazi salute.

The move follows detailed work done by Liberal and National members of the powerful Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, which released its review of the Government’s legislation last week. The Coalition members of the Committee recommended banning the Nazi salute.

The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Prohibited Hate Symbols and Other Measures) Bill 2023 was released by the Government in June this year, in response Coalition moves to prohibit the public display of Nazi symbols.

The Government’s Bill outlawed the display of the Nazi Swastika and ‘double-sig’ rune, as well as the Islamic State flag, but did not address the salute.

Labor members of the PJCIS said they did not think it was “appropriate” to ban the salute nationally.

Shadow Attorney-General Senator Michaelia Cash foreshadowed in the media on Sunday that the Coalition would attempt to amend the Bill to ban the Nazi salute.

“It seems the Attorney-General has finally seen sense on this issue after resisting this sensible move,’’ she said.

“It appears there is a pattern emerging with the Albanese Government whereby they need the help of the Coalition on matters of national security,’’ Senator Cash said.

“We are presently seeing the biggest rise in antisemitism since the Second World War,’’ she said.

“The Nazi salute is one of the most powerful antisemitic symbols the world has ever seen. It is associated with the murder of over 6 million Jews and countless others in concentration camps during the Second World War,’’ she said.

“We find ourselves in the appalling situation where Jewish families in Australia are being advised not to “advertise” their Jewish identity. They are being told not to wear the kippah or school uniforms, and to be wary of where they gather,’’ Senator Cash said.

“We have extraordinary scenes where crowds in front of Australia’s most famous landmark chanted “gas the Jews”.

“The move to ban the Nazi salute is long-overdue. It should have been done back in March. And some of the appalling displays we have seen since the horrific attacks of October 7 in Israel have only highlighted how important it is,’’ Senator Cash said.

In March this year Peter Dutton, Michaelia Cash and Julian Leeser moved to prohibit the Nazi salute following a neo-Nazi demonstration on the footsteps of the Melbourne Parliament.

Peter Dutton and Julian Leeser moved urgent legislation in the House of Representatives. Michaelia Cash did the same in the Senate.

Labor blocked the motion in the House, saying it needed time to consider legislation.

And in the Senate, Labor members of a Senate Committee recommended against passing the Coalition’s legislation, saying the Government should draft its own laws instead.

“For some baffling reason, Labor Members and Senators have twice recommended against banning the Nazi salute nationally. That is for them to explain,’’ Senator Cash said.

“We think this is a sensible move, and we hope the Government will come to its senses and support us.”