SENATOR KRISTINA KENEALLY
DEPUTY LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS
JOINT STATEMENT ON AUSTRALIAN RIGHT-WING EXTREMISM
Journalist Nick McKenzie’s expose of the National Socialist Network and other groups, such as Combat-18, that are active here in Australia raises the very serious question of why the Morrison Government has not yet proscribed these groups as terrorist organisations.
ASIO has revealed right-wing extremism accounts for 50 per cent of its counter-terrorism work and the AFP has warned that young Australians are being 'aggressively radicalised' by right-wing extremists.
We need to take their advice seriously, which starts with making sure our terrorism laws and countering violent extremism programs - which have been understandably focussed on Islamic extremism for two decades - are fit for purpose for right-wing extremism.
A disturbing rise in Australian right-wing extremism is why Labor successfully pushed for an inquiry by the Intelligence and Security Committee into this growing terrorist threat.
There is no place in our successful multicultural society for the hatred and division promoted by right-wing extremists.
Until very recently, Australia was the only Five Eyes country that has not proscribed any far-right groups as terrorists. The only right-wing extremist group listed in Australia is the Sonnenkrieg Division, a group based in the UK with limited ties to Australia.
We know that disinformation is deliberately used by right-wing extremist groups who want to create division and disunity in Australia.
It’s why Labor has been condemning those in Parliament, including George Christensen, who have been spreading disinformation about COVID-19 and asking questions in Senate estimates about QAnon.
It’s frightening that Mr Morrison is still doing business with those who give credibility to conspiracy.
It is time for the Prime Minister to clearly condemn right-wing extremism and those in his own Government who give comfort and support to far-right conspiracies and views.
MONDAY, 16 AUGUST 2021