Senate debates

Monday, 22 November 2021

Questions without Notice

Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Masjidain on 15 March 2019

2:21 pm

Photo of Simon BirminghamSimon Birmingham (SA, Liberal Party, Minister for Finance) Share this | Hansard source

NGHAM (—) (): I thank Senator Faruqi for her question. She is right. ASIO has identified that the threat from ideologically motivated violent extremism, particularly nationalist and racist violent extremism, is growing and does present a serious threat to Australia's security. They have estimated that it comprises around 50 per cent of their priority onshore counterterrorism case load.

We unequivocally condemn all such terrorist activity and all motivations that seek to promote any form of violence or threat to Australians based upon such ideology. Through Australia's terrorism laws, our government has worked—in a bipartisan way, I acknowledge—to strengthen the targeting of criminal activity, not ideologies or community backgrounds. We have also sought to empower our agencies, in particular ASIO and the Australian Federal Police, to be better placed to be able to respond and to ensure that, where such views manifest themselves into potential threats, those agencies are as well placed as possible to be able to respond, disrupt, counter and prevent those threats.

I do acknowledge the bipartisanship that we have had in relation to the passage of such legislation and such reforms, because it has required bipartisanship, given the fact that there have often been efforts by the crossbench to weaken some of those legislative measures that we have sought to bring forward. We've backed those tougher legislative reforms with additional funding in terms of both measures in relation to social cohesion and support for our security agencies to be able to undertake the important work of identification and disruption. (Time expired)


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