Inquiry into extremism launched after Labor push

A new federal inquiry will examine the rise of right-wing extremism after Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton agreed to Labor calls for more attention to the threat amid fears the pandemic could accelerate its growth.

Mr Dutton asked the Parliament’s peak national security committee to launch the inquiry as the government faced a motion backed by Labor to expose right-wing groups to greater scrutiny.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton asked the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Security and Intelligence to launch the inquiry.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Days after security officials confirmed the threat was growing, Mr Dutton asked the inquiry to look into the objectives and “capacity for violence” among extremist groups, but he said this should include Islamist as well as right-wing extremists.

The inquiry will be led by Andrew Hastie, the Liberal MP and former soldier who chairs the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Security and Intelligence, and Anthony Byrne, the Labor MP and deputy chair.

More to come

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