House debates

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Statements by Members


1:54 pm

Photo of Tim WattsTim Watts (Gellibrand, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Communications) Share this | | Hansard source

Last month Walter Lubcke, a German politician, was fatally shot in the head by a far Right extremist. Walter Lubcke is just the latest in a growing list of political figures murdered by far Right extremists in recent years, including Jo Cox in the United Kingdom and Pawel Adamowicz in Poland. Far Right extremists were also linked to at least 50 murders in the United States alone in 2018, and all Australians were horrified at the 51 Kiwis murdered by an Australian far Right extremist in Christchurch earlier this year—targets chosen for politically motivated reasons. These politically motivated murders should be a warning to all of us in this chamber.

These far-right extremists are not lone wolves or isolated individuals; they are part of a globally connected movement. They are radicalised by a common ideology of white nationalism, shared in common channels of communication. The involvement of Australians in these networks is a reality that must be confronted by government and civil society. There should be no sides in this fight. Those who believe in liberal democracy must be united in taking the fight up to this challenge. We rightly took online radicalisation seriously in the face of the rise of ISIS, and we need to do the same with white nationalists.

This isn't just about confronting the streaming of attacks; it's about preventing radicalisation before it happens. That's the heart of the Christchurch call issued by New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. It's too late to prevent the Christchurch atrocity, but we can act before more people are killed.