Members statements: Far-Right Ideology and Protest
Mr HIBBINS (Prahran): I rise to condemn the inciting of violence, the parading of gallows and the torrent of racist, sexist and transphobic abuse that has been directed at my parliamentary colleagues. Peaceful protests, demonstrations and even some direct action are the hallmarks of a democratic society, but what is occurring is threats of violence, threats to kill, and racism, sexism and homophobia. And it does not happen in a bubble—conspiracy theories and far-right ideology are mainstreamed or given comfort by politicians and political parties who are also spreading or allowing misinformation to spread. The failure of massive social media platforms to properly moderate their content, dog-whistle politics and comparisons to Nazi Germany all play a role, and we can see what this leads to: violence, and worse, misinformation and conspiracy theories resulting in people dying from preventable diseases when they do not need to.
The past two years have been incredibly difficult. And, yes, we will need to heal, but there will need to be a renewed effort over the next year to tackle the division, the conspiracy theories and the far-right ideology and not give comfort to them or incite them—and we do need a wideranging inquiry to get to the extent of it and to see what the government can do to address it.