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Inquiry into Extremism in Victoria

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Samantha Ratnam
Leader of the Victorian Greens
30 August 2022

I too rise to commend this really excellent report before us on the rise of far-right extremism in Victoria. I want to acknowledge the commitment of particularly the Legal and Social Issues Committee membership to conduct this inquiry, the support of the government and particularly the staff and secretariat for their deep research and thinking on this very important area of focus. In fact it is the only report of its kind in Australia, after the federal inquiry was effectively shelved. This report and inquiry found that there has been a re-emergence of far-right extremism in Victoria and that it is a threat to our social cohesion, our democracy and our safety.

There are features of these movements, including anti-democratic sentiments, anti-immigration sentiments, misogyny and racism. There are social and economic conditions that exacerbate the growth of these movements; namely, inequality and social isolation. The growing threat is fuelled and fanned by the decline in trust in politicians and institutions and normalised by the mainstreaming of right-wing populism. When our political, economic and social systems fail to support people, society leaves people behind, and it creates more distrust and disengagement.

This report issues a challenge to our governments to act, because we can act to prevent and counter far-right extremism and keep our communities safe. In fact the inquiry found that there are effective ways that all levels of government could embrace to counter this growing threat immediately, and that means more social cohesion and community building, improving integrity measures to build trust in our political systems, our social institutions and our civic institutions. It means supporting anti-racism education, supporting research, building collaboration, supporting youth work and our youth workers, and it issues a challenge to all leaders to take this threat seriously and to act urgently.

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Samantha Ratnam
Leader of the Victorian Greens
30 August 2022
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WHAT I'M FIGHTING FOR


In Parliament

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