Tough new penalties to keep community groups safe

Published: 21 Aug 2018

Under new laws it is now an offence in NSW to threaten or incite violence against people based on their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex or HIV/AIDS status.

The new laws aim to make NSW a safe space for all groups and individuals. They will protect a broader range of vulnerable people including religious groups, who are not covered by the Anti-Discrimination Act.

The new offence in the Crimes Act carries a maximum three-year sentence and a fine of $11,000 or $55,000 for corporations. It replaces and improves existing offences in the Anti-Discrimination Act.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said these laws will send a strong and clear message to people who think it’s acceptable to incite violence against people because they belong to a particular group.

“We are all entitled to express our views in NSW, but that doesn’t mean we have a licence to drum up violence against innocent people,” Mr Speakman said.

“Public conduct intended to incite hatred, serious contempt or severe ridicule against multicultural and LGBTI communities and people with HIV/AIDS has been a crime in NSW for over 20 years, but no one has been prosecuted under the old laws.”

The new laws follow extensive consultation with the Keep NSW Safe Coalition, religious leaders and community groups.

Find out more about victim support services available in NSW

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