The Victorian Greens will move for an inquiry into the rise of the far-right in Victoria when Parliament returns in October.
The Greens say the growing presence of the far-right nationalist movement and their links to the anti-vaccine conspiracy groups, including in the recent Melbourne riots, must be investigated immediately for the safety of all Victorians.
The proposed inquiry would explore:
- The rise of the far-right, right-wing nationalist and neo-Nazi movement in Victoria
- Their methods of recruitment and communication
- The risks their plans and actions pose to Victoria, particularly to Victoria’s multicultural communities
- The links between the far-right, populist right-wing nationalist groups and anti-vaccine misinformation groups
- What steps need to be taken to counter these movements and their influence
Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, said the fear and anxiety of the pandemic had provided a breeding ground for dangerous far-right and white supremacist ideology to run and take hold, and that it needed to be investigated as a matter of urgency.
She added it was disappointing to see members of Victorian Parliament associating with and spreading the same misinformation peddled by these groups.
The events of this week demonstrate that the far-right movement is growing and is using this moment in the pandemic when so much misinformation is being spread to recruit people for their dangerous agenda.
As stated by Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam MLC:
“The growing presence of far-right nationalists sends a chill down my spine.
“I was once harassed and followed from my office by right-wing extremists. It was frightening. And the attacks on me online have increased over the last year.
“The Greens have been concerned about the rise of the far-right in Victoria for a number of years, and now the pandemic seems to have provided the perfect breeding ground for their dangerous ideology.
“It’s also having an effect on our political system and influencing some parliamentarians. This rise of the far-right and of white supremacists is shifting the politics of our state and we must tackle it.
“That’s why we want to see an urgent inquiry into the rise of the far-right in Victoria, to counter these movements and protect those most affected by their harmful rhetoric and behaviour, such as multicultural communities.
“History has shown us what happens if we don’t act early and if we don’t act quickly to counter far-right extremists.”