25 August 2021

It is deeply troubling that certain Liberal and National party members of the Morrison government are promoting ideas, information sources and online spaces commonly shared by far-right extremists.


It’s why Labor has been consistent in its calls for the Prime Minister clearly condemn those in his government like George Christensen MP, Senator Matt Canavan and Senator Gerard Rennick who promote disinformation.


The safety and security of all Australians is paramount, and Labor will always listen to the advice of our national security agencies.  At the bottom of this message, I have included some additional steps you can take to ensure your views are heard by the Parliament as a whole.


ASIO Director-General Mike Burgess warned in August 2021 that a right-wing extremist attack in Australia is possible and that right-wing extremism is now approaching 50% of its counterterrorism work, an increase from 10-15% in 2016.


Mr Burgess also said that COVID-19 disinformation is fueling this increasing threat.


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.


In response to this growing threat, Labor called for a parliamentary inquiry into far-right extremism in Australia.  The Morrison Government agreed to our proposal and last year referred an inquiry to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. As a bipartisan committee, the PJCIS carefully reviews new national security legislation and issues, consulting with a range of experts and stakeholders to ensure that concerns — such as those you have raised — can be discussed. 


A key focus of the Committee’s inquiry is examining the nature and extent of, and threat posed by, right-wing extremists in Australia, with a focus on their motivations, objectives and capacity for violence.


The Committee is considering changes that could be made to Australia's Counter-Terrorism Strategy, including how to prevent radicalisation;  deter hate speech; and better monitor the role of social media, encrypted communications platforms and the dark web in allowing extremists to communicate, organise, spread disinformation and recruit.


You may like to personally make a submission to the Committee's inquiry, such as forwarding your letter to the Committee as a submission, which you can do via the Committee’s website.


Of course, one of the most important steps Australians can take to safeguard against right-wing extremism is to reject racism and uphold the strength and value of our multicultural community.


If you have not already done so, please join the 3,000 other Australians who have signed Labor’s petition to call for a new national anti-racism campaign. Please also share the petition with your friends, family and colleagues to urge the Government to act.