Liberal Senator Mathias Cormann blasted comments from Brexiteer Raheem Kassam as "disgraceful, highly objective and completely outrageous", ahead of Mr Kassam's visit to a controversial conservative conference in Sydney next week.
Labor has called on the government to refuse a visa to Mr Kassam, a former Brietbart editor and right-wing provocateur, and called on the government not to allow Liberals MPs Amanda Stoker and Craig Kelly to attend.
Describing Mr Kassam as a "career bigot", Kristina Keneally quoted him as saying in 2016, of Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon, "Can someone just like... tape Nicola Sturgeon's mouth shut? And her legs, so she can't reproduce."
She asked Senator Cormann whether the government stood by Liberal parliamentarians Amanda Stoker and Craig Kelly's decision to speak at the event.
Senator Cormann said Mr Kassam's comments were "disgusting" and he rejected them "entirely and utterly", but "just because you are at an event somewhere, you're not expected to agree with everything that everybody says that is at the same event".
The government did not respond questions on Wednesday about Mr Kassam's visa, but The Australian newspaper reported that his visa would not be revoked.
A who's who of the provocative right makes its way to Sydney for the Conservative Political Action Conference, which is held each year in the United States and is coming to Australia for the first time. Former prime minister Tony Abbott will speak, alongside former Labor leader turned One Nation NSW parliamentarian Mark Latham, Liberal candidate Warren Mundine and a host of Sky News commentators and conservative commentators.
Labor Senator Penny Wong said it was a "veritable academy for those wishing to learn the dark arts of hate speech" and involving some of the most extreme elements of Britain and the US. It was a place where networks would be built and moments start, she said, pointing to the attendance of US Congressman Matt Gaetz, whom Labor has accused of defending a Holocaust denier.
If we banned everyone that said something 'offensive' on Twitter tourism numbers would be way down.Craig Kelly
In response, Senator Cormann said, "It is well understood that the Coalition has a strong and proud track record of being a supporter of Israel, so I would reject any implication in that question that we are anything other than that."
Senator Wong said Prime Minister Scott Morrison should call out the extremism and ensure no Australian politicians attended.
"There is much to love about America, but there are many things we don't want to replicate here. The white supremacist movement is gaining momentum. Conflict over race and religion is increasing. We have seen more and more attacks on Jewish, Islamic and black Baptist places of worship, along with neo-Nazi rallies that have turned deadly," she said.
Mr Kassam has dismissed the furore via Twitter, saying he had "got a massage and played ping pong" instead of responding in kind to Senator Keneally's attack.
Conference organisers said in a statement they were proud to bring Mr Kassam to Australia and rejected Senator Keneally's "embarrassing attempt to shut down political opponents".
Dismissing her as "authoritarian hard left", they said it was ludicrous to describe the conference as a "talkfest of hate".
Mr Kelly said it was an honour to be invited to a conference with such as prestigious history. A climate sceptic, Mr Kelly said he would use his appearance to argue "the importance that low cost electricity plays in human prosperity and freedom".
As to Senator Keneally's call for Mr Kassam's visa to be revoked, he said, "If we banned everyone that said something 'offensive' on Twitter tourism numbers would be way down".
Accusing Labor of "intellectual bankruptcy", Liberal Senator Eric Abetz said he was often called to speak at forums with people with whom he didn't agree, "even Q and A" and ABC's The Drum.
Describing the invitees as right-wing proselytisers bringing poisoned propaganda from another hemisphere, Labor Senator Pat Dodson dismissed them as "intellectual terrorists" and "visiting right-wing nutters who shouldn't be allowed in the country". Australia had enough of its own home-grown bigotry and racism, he said.
Former National Party Leader John Anderson, a relatively moderate voice, speaks at the conference, and while he was unaware of the visa stoush when contacted on Wednesday, he said he would be calling for the return of civility.
"We will never negotiate our way forward without a recovery of civility and respect," he said in an interview.
"In the modern world in which we demonise people and their ideas before we engage with them as fellow human beings is simply guaranteeing that we continue at war with one another ...
"We are now plainly engaged in a massive clash over beliefs, values and culture and I don't belie the current direction is serving us very well ... We're atomised, we're tribalised were massively distrustful of one another and our institutions and our children are displaying horrendous levels of anxiety and depression and self-harm."
"I think it's time that the endless march of progressivism, which assumes we never go back we've never got anything wrong, be politely asked to examine the evidence."
Mr Anderson rejected the suggestion that the division and distrust was coming from the right, saying progressivism was the predominant cultural mood and progressives whose numbers were growing.
And he rejected the idea that Donald Trump was of the hard right.
"He's of no fixed philosophical address. He's a deal maker, he doesn't fit any major philosophical uniform," Mr Anderson said.
Identifying himself as a mix of "classic Liberal and conservative, he said politics had moved more than he had. And he said all three political silos were broken - democratic socialism, classic liberalism and classic conservatism. There was a "great and urgent objective" to learn the lesson of history "that cultures can and do eat themselves out from within", he said.