LABOR PUSHES FOR BIPARTISAN COMMITMENT TO ACT ON RIGHT-WING EXTREMIST THREAT

08 December 2020

SENATOR KRISTINA KENEALLY
DEPUTY LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES 
 
LABOR PUSHES FOR BIPARTISAN COMMITMENT TO ACT ON
RIGHT-WING EXTREMIST THREAT
 

Labor is seeking the Morrison Government’s support for a Parliamentary inquiry into the rising threat of right-wing extremism in Australia.
 
Right-wing extremism in Australia is real. The threat is growing. It is a risk to public safety, and to our multicultural society.
 
For too long, Australia has been left behind as our key partners have worked to combat right-wing extremism within their borders.
 
Australia is now the only Five Eyes country that has not listed any right-wing extremist groups as terrorist organisations, even though countries such as Canada and the UK have listed groups that have local chapters here in Australia.
 
ASIO Director-General Mike Burgess said in February that Australia’s primary terrorist threat remains Islamic extremism, but that right-wing extremism is growing and that there are groups and people around Australia saluting Nazi flags and gathering weapons. 
 
ASIO has also indicated publicly, in recent months that a right-wing extremist attack in Australia is possible and that right-wing extremism now accounts for over 30-40% of its counterterrorism work.
 
On Friday, the Australian Federal Police confirmed they are watching the right-wing extremist threat carefully, that young Australians are being 'aggressively radicalised' through right-wing extremism, and right-wing extremists have more ready access to weapons than Islamic extremists.
 
Australia cannot ignore this rising terrorist threat.
 
An inquiry by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security is an appropriate start.
 
This will enable a bipartisan examination of our existing frameworks and strategies to see if they are appropriate or sufficient enough to deal with this rising threat, including whether Australia’s framework for listing terrorist organisations is fit-for-purpose.
 
Australia is the most successful multicultural nation on earth. We cannot ignore the growing threat right-wing extremism poses to community cohesion or the safety of all Australians.