An angry Peter Dutton has defended his record condemning the Holocaust and use of Nazi symbols amid continuing uproar over the Nazi salute being performed on the steps of the Victorian parliament on Saturday at an anti-transgender rights rally.
He also said he was not going to take "moral lectures" from Labor and urged the Prime Minister to make his own statement condemning neo-Nazis. It is something Anthony Albanese later did on commercial radio.
The brawl in Canberra comes as Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus used question time on Tuesday to attack the federal Liberal party, in particular the federal Opposition Leader as "most senior Liberal in Australia", of "complete silence" over the "abhorrent" neo-Nazi scene at a Melbourne rally by British anti-trans activist Kellie Jay Keen.
The Victorian opposition leader is moving to expel the MP Moira Deeming from the Liberal Party after she attended the event.
Mr Dreyfus ripped into the opposition, saying "we all know that bigotry and hatred breed in silence".
But Mr Dutton accused the Attorney-General of seeking to use the controversy to his political advantage.
"I think that reflects very poorly on him," he told Parliament. "I find that the most egregious breach of the standing orders and the standards of decency in this Parliament frankly that I have seen."
Black clad National Socialist Movement members repeatedly performed the salute at the rally of Ms Keen, also known as Posie Parker. The campaigner's national tour shifts to the front of the Canberra Parliament on Thursday.
Mr Dreyfus said there is "no place in Australian society for public displays of Nazi symbols or the Nazi salute" and reminded Parliament that the Holocaust touched his own family.
"What is so hard about this? Who is the Opposition Leader afraid of offending here?" he posed.
"Maybe it's Senator [Alex] Antic, who said in the Senate yesterday that Moira Deeming did nothing wrong. For the leader of a party of government to not even condemn the public use of the Nazi salute is astonishing and it's shameful."
Mr Dutton fired back, condemning "any use of Nazi symbols, of the salute, of any glorification of that period of history".
"I have been in this place for 22 years, you can look at my history in any comment I made in making sure we never repeat the mistakes of history, especially during that period," he told Parliament.
"And the slaughter - the slaughter of Jews and the treatment by the Nazis of people during the Second World War, the treatment today of people of the Jewish faith is an abomination.
"It is equally condemned that it would be used for political purposes in this place, [which] is a very poor reflection on you, if I might say."
The Opposition Leader did not mention Ms Deeming by name.
But he pushed back on the Attorney-General and the Prime Minister, amid uproar in the chamber, citing his record in government.
"As Minister for Home Affairs and as the Minister for Defence, as a member of the national security committee, I supported every decision, in fact, encouraged, to the nth degree, the Director-General of ASIO, to use every resource at his disposal to make sure that those who seek to propagate this to be prosecuted under the law," he said.
"And I won't take a morals lecture from that man [Mr Dreyfus] or indeed that one [Anthony Albanese].
"He should get up and make a statement himself!' he said referring to the Prime Minister.
Later, Mr Albanese used a commercial radio interview to make a stand, and condemn the actions.
"In Melbourne on the weekend, we saw an anti-trans rally, which is really disrespectful of who people are, and then it was joined by a bunch of people who were essentially doing Nazi salutes and slogans and doing all of that," the Prime Minister told Nova 100 Melbourne.
"And that, of course, should be condemned by all Australians. There's no place in Australia for Nazi salutes and people basically paying tribute to Nazis who were responsible for the Holocaust.
"I sometimes think that, politics needs to be civil and we need to learn from history. And that's why I condemn the actions there, and why people would attend an anti-trans rally in order to promote division."
Mr Dutton stated he would support any legislation to make Nazi glorification illegal in Australia.
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