LABOR WELCOMES INQUIRY INTO EXTREMISM

09 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 WELCOMES INQUIRY INTO EXTREMISM
 

Labor welcomes the Government’s bi-partisan partnership with the Opposition to finalise a referral on extremism, including far-right extremism, to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. 
 
Labor wrote to the Government two weeks ago to propose a joint referral and moved a referral on far-right extremism in the House of Representatives for consideration today.
 
Labor thanks the Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton MP for his cooperation with the Shadow Minister for Home Affairs to finalise terms of reference for the referral. 
 
Right-wing extremism in Australia is real. The threat is growing. It is a risk to public safety, and to our multicultural society.
 
Between 30-40% of ASIO’s counterterrorism work is now associated with right-wing extremism, and the AFP has warned that young Australians are being 'aggressively radicalised' through right-wing extremism.
 
Today’s referral will allow the first in-depth examination of the issue of right-wing extremism by the PJCIS.
 
Labor sought a bipartisan examination of our existing counter-terrorism laws and strategies to determine if they are appropriate to deal with the rising threat of far-right extremism, including whether Australia’s framework for listing terrorist organisations is fit-for-purpose.
 
As part of the inquiry, the Committee will examine the nature and extent of, and threat posed by, right-wing extremists in Australia, with a particular focus on their motivations, objectives and capacity for violence.
 
The Committee will also consider changes that could be made Australia's Counter-Terrorism Strategy in relation to preventing radicalisation to extremist views, further steps that the Commonwealth could take to disrupt and deter hate speech, and the role of social media, encrypted communications platforms and the dark web in allowing extremists to communicate and organise.
 
Importantly, the referral also provides scope for the Committee to consider how findings and recommendations on the emerging threat of far-right extremism might also assist in keeping Australians safe from the threat posed by other forms of extremism, including the ongoing threat of Islamist terrorism.
 
The Australian Community can get involved in the Committee’s work by making a submission via the Committee’s webpage:

https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/Intelligence_and_Security/ExtremistMovements