Labor frontbencher Kristina Kenneally says the Morrison government has been caught napping on far-right extremism and has questioned why only one far-right group has been listed as a terrorist organisation.
The Senator, as a member of federal parliament's powerful Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) has also questioned the Prime Minister Scott Morrison's relationship with avowed QAnon supporter Tim Stewart.
The PJCIS has approved the listing of the British-based neo-Nazi group Sonnenkrieg Division (SKD) as a terrorist organisation under the Criminal Code and has encouraged the government to continue to investigate other like-minded organisations.
The then-Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton announced the listing in March, adding SKD to a list of Islamic militant groups. There are currently 26 proscribed organisations on the list.
In tabling the bipartisan report into the terror listing, Senator Keneally says the threat from such groups is real.
"Our Five Eyes partners have been awake to this threat for some time," she told the Senate.
"We are the last of our partners to recognise right-wing extremism for the terrorism that it is, but the Morrison government has, sadly, been caught sleeping."
The SKD or "Sun War Division" is an offshoot of the US-based white-supremacist organisation Atomwaffen Division (AWD).
With a decentralised structure, it exists primarily through online channels and uses propaganda to inspire lone-wolf style attacks. It is proscribed as a terrorist organisation in the UK.
The PJCIS found that Australians had little direct involvement with Sonnenkrieg Division but that it had reached into Australia via online activities and posed a threat to the nation.
The chair of the PJCIS, Liberal Senator James Paterson, says SKD adheres to an ideology that is violently opposed to multiethnic Western societies.
"There is a possibility that a lone-actor attack directed or inspired by SKD could result in harm to Australians," he told the senate.
"Whilst Australians are not directly involved in SKD its encouragement, promotion and glorification of lone-actor attacks could inspire some Australian extremists, and the availability of SKD propaganda online has the potential to contribute to the radicalisation of others."
Senator Keneally says there are other far-right extremist groups active in Australia of significant concern.
"They are hiding in plain sight," she said.
"They are the ones gathering and terrorising our community here in Australia already.
"The pandemic has shifted more of our interactions online, and this, along with the economic and social impacts and the anxieties and uncertainties of the last 15 months, has intensified the spread of right-wing extremist narratives."
The Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate insisted the government need to do more about extreme views, including look inside itself.
"What is most concerning - terrifying even - is that some in the media and some in politics entertain these insidious, dangerous views," she said.
"We cannot allow the mainstreaming of these views. The Morrison government must sever itself from those who promote or give comfort to conspiracies and far-right extremist views, even if they exist in the Coalition party room."
Mr Morrison has a long-term friend, Tim Stewart, who is a follower of the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon - a false theory that broadly claims former US President Donald Trump is waging a war against a shadowy cabal of Democratic baby-eating paedophiles.
The QAnon conspiracy and other far-right extremist thinking heavily influenced the deadly US Capitol attack in early January. Tim Stewart's family has notified the national security hotline about him several times.
Labor says the Prime Minister has questions to answer.
"That such thinking can gain traction in some members opposite and, most concerningly, in the personal relationships of Australia's Prime Minister should appal us all," Senator Keneally said.
"We should be appalled that someone who could believe in and promote such fear and hatred could be trusted by Mr Morrison to house-sit the official residence at Kirribilli, and it should appal us that Mr Morrison will still not answer questions about whether he has received briefings from his department or other agencies on the dangers posed by QAnon.
"We cannot let extreme right-wing views gain any more ground here, for we have seen how very quickly what seems like a fringe idea, what seems ridiculous and unthinkable, can become a tragic, terrifying reality.
"Here in Australia, our security agencies are warning of the increasing threat posed by right-wing extremism.
"Mr Burgess said it was 50 per cent of ASIO's domestic terrorism workload. Yet this government has only seen fit to list one right-wing group, and only this year."
The Prime Minister's relationship was canvassed in this week's Four Corners program, but Mr Morrison has been travelling overseas and has not been broadly asked about Mr Stewart. However, he was asked one question about the ABC program at a recent press conference.
"I find it deeply offensive that there would be any suggestion that I would have any involvement or support for such a dangerous organisation. I clearly do not," Mr Morrison said.
The PJCIS states that it encourages the federal government to continue investigating other like-minded organisations to potentially list them as terrorist organisations under the Criminal Code.
The committee says it will continue its own investigations through a separate inquiry which is under way into extremist movements and radicalism in Australia.
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