A Liberal senator believes "eco-terrorists" could have lit Australia's bushfires, echoing a right-wing conspiracy theory spread on social media.
Former Turnbull government minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells wants metadata analysis to help an investigation into a potential coordinated arson attack.
"Given the loss of life, the extensive loss of property and the economic impact, was ecoterrorism an agenda item at any of the recent meetings of the national security committee of cabinet?" She told parliament.
"If not, why not?"
Misinformation has spread globally on social media with some posts blaming left-wing eco-terrorists for starting the fires to spark action on climate change.
NSW Rural Fire Service chief Shane Fitzsimmons last month said the bushfire season had been dominated by natural causes, mainly lightning.
Queensland police say only about 10 per cent of fires were deliberately or recklessly lit through human involvement between September and January 8.
But Senator Fierravanti-Wells pointed to the National Centre for Research in Bushfire and Arson satellite analysis of 113,000 fires from 1997 to 2009, saying 40 per cent were deliberately lit.
She said there was no recorded lightning strikes on most of the days bushfires started across NSW and Queensland in September, suggesting a level of coordination.
"Those alleged arsonists already arrested need to be thoroughly investigated by law enforcement. Who are they? What was their motive and intent?" She said.
"Are they lone actors or part of a sinister collective conducting ecoterrorism?
"Was there a level of coordination? Were any organisations with a history of law-breaking involved in order to further their respective narratives?"
The former international development minister said the media build-up of an impending hot, dry summer set the scene for people with criminal intent to act.
"It defies logic that the number of bushfires in different parts of Australia took hold so quickly and apparently all at once, thereby destroying property, livelihoods and wildlife and, in worst-case scenarios, causing the deaths of 33 people."
She raised the prospect of the Australian Signals Directorate helping investigate overseas metadata held by "eco-terrorists" given "arsonists were active in California last year".
"The Australian public deserves answers. And so I ask: who is taking the lead to get to the truth?" Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.
"The 33 lives lost must not be ignored by those charged with our security. We owe it to them to get to the bottom of the how and the why."
Australian Associated Press