Brisbane Attorney-General Paul Lucas says he won’t block a neo-Nazi music festival, set to be held in April. He has also dismissed calls by parliamentarians for legislative action to ensure the Hammered Music Festival cannot take place.
Independent Burnett MP Rob Messenger is planning to propose a private member’s bill that would force the state government to ban the festival. The measure, he said, will mandate jail time and up to $300,000 in fines for anyone who organizes neo-Nazi events. He has launched an online petition to pressure both sides of parliament to support the bill.
“We are not in the business of banning people who express moronic, stupid and wrong points of view,” Lucas told the Courier-Mail newspaper in an interview published Wednesday. “If they want to make total fools of themselves and demonstrate their mentality, then that’s for them. But if they incite people to violence or breach the anti-discrimination provisions… then we will refer the matter for investigation and prosecution. You can’t ban something on the basis of what people might do,” he commented. This is not the first time the event has been held.
Organized by the Southern Cross Hammerskins and the “white resistance” group Blood and Honour Australia, the white supremacist festival is entering its third year as an annual event. Held for the first two years on the Gold Coast of Australia, this year it moved its venue to Brisbane, the third most populous city in Australia, located in the state of Queensland