The Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria commends the Victorian Government for its leadership in proposing to ban public displays of Nazi symbols and its commitment to strengthening the state’s anti-vilification protections.

    ECCV Chairperson Eddie Micallef has welcomed the Government’s response to the recommendations of the Victorian Parliament’s Legal and Social Issues Committee to reform the state’s anti-vilification measures.

    ‘We applaud the proposed banning of symbols of hate that incite hateful, racist behaviour and fear,” he said. “These landmark reforms send a clear message that our community will not tolerate any form of hate, abuse or harmful conduct.”

    The ECCV supports the lowering of the legal threshold for incitement-based vilification to help people subjected to vilification seek justice through the courts. Proposed changes to the definition of what constitutes vilification, to include conduct that is likely to incite hatred, serious contempt, revulsion or severe ridicule, align more to our communities’ expectations.

    ECCV also supports the extension of the state’s anti-vilification protections beyond race and religion to cover areas such as sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, and HIV/AIDS status, and changes to allow people to make complaints on multiple grounds.

    Mr Micallef said it was important that the Government consult widely with the community and impacted groups to get the proposed changes right. The Government’s forthcoming Anti-Racism Strategy also needed to be resourced to be able to implement the recommendations of the Inquiry.

    “We strongly support investment in community and school-based anti-vilification education and the development of evidence-based initiatives to prevent vilification in our community.

    “We look forward to working with the State Government on the implementation of the Inquiry’s recommendations,” he said.

    Media Enquiries: Victoria Kyriakopoulos 0431 091 738 | media@eccv.org.au

    2 September 2021

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