Peter Dutton has promised "far right" and "far left" lunatics will be dealt with after Australia's spy chief warned about the growing threat of right-wing extremism.
ASIO boss Mike Burgess says right-wing extremists are regularly meeting in Australian suburbs to salute Nazi flags, inspect weapons, train in combat and share their hateful ideology.
The extreme right-wing had been in ASIO's sights for some time but came into sharp focus after the Christchurch terror attack last year.
The home affairs minister said an individual or organisation's ideology was of no consequence to him or Australia's security agencies.
"If somebody is going to cause harm to Australians, I just don't care whether they're on the far right, far left, somewhere in between: they will be dealt with," Mr Dutton told reporters on Tuesday.
"If the proliferation of information into the hands of right-wing lunatics or left-wing lunatics is leading to a threat in our country, then my responsibility is to make sure our agencies are dealing with it, and they are."
Mr Dutton said left-wing extremist groups included Islamic terrorists.
"I don't care whether they're neo-Nazis or they're part of some cell that's been involved in a fight in the Middle East," he told ABC.
Labor used question time to attack the government on what it saw as a lack of action on right-wing extremists.
"Why has the Australian government not listed a single right-wing extremist group as a terrorist organisation?" opposition Defence spokesman Richard Marles asked.
Mr Dutton said he would consider listing right-wing extremist groups as terrorists if he was advised by ASIO to do so.
The government pointed to its national security legislation, including its encryption busting laws.
"Whatever their cause of hate, whatever their motivation to do Australians harm, this government is standing up to them," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
Australian Associated Press
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