A 55-year-old man in Victoria has been charged with allegedly performing the Nazi salute in Melbourne, as well as alleged stalking and threats to kill. This arrest comes after the passing of new laws in the Victorian Parliament in October. The man was arrested on Nov. 16 following a noise complaint at a Melbourne home on Nov. 12. Police allege that the man performed the salute outside a residential address in the suburb of Newport. According to Victorian police, “The 55-year-old Newport man has been charged with performing a Nazi gesture, stalking, and threats to kill.” He is scheduled to appear before Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 8 January 2024.
This is the second arrest related to the new legislation. On October 27, a 24-year-old man was charged with allegedly performing the Nazi salute outside a Melbourne court. The Victorian Labor government fast-tracked legislation in October to ban the Nazi salute. Fines of up to $23,000 (US$15,0oo) can apply to those caught displaying a Nazi symbol or performing a Nazi gesture. The law has been in force since Oct. 21 after receiving royal assent. The legislation modifies the Summary Offences Act 1966 to make the public display or performance of Nazi gestures an offense, as well as broadening the application of the offense of public display of Nazi symbols. There is an exemption if the Nazi gesture was performed for genuine academic, artistic, educational, or scientific purposes. Exceptions also apply for law enforcement or administration of justice purposes. The Victorian government said that displays of Nazi symbols and gestures caused harm to members of the community, and that the ban sends a clear message that Nazi ideology and the hate it represents is not tolerated in Victoria.