Thursday, 8 October 2020
Questions without Notice
Thank you, Mr President. My question is to the minister representing the Minister for Home Affairs. Last month, ASIO advised the parliament that right-wing violent extremism occupies between approximately 30 and 40 per cent of ASIO's current case load in counterterrorism work, an increase from 10 to 15 per cent prior to 2016. This is an extraordinary increase over a very short period of time. In August, the Nine papers reported that ASIO has been focused on the possibility of extremists being inspired by killers such as the Christchurch gunman. As a Muslim and as a progressive senator, I find these reports incredibly troubling, but they align with what I see online, on social media and in the correspondence I receive. While it's good that the security services are investigating these threats, there appears to be zero political appetite to invest in new initiatives to address the growth of far-right extremism. What is the government doing to tackle the growing threat of far-right extremism and white supremacy?