NSW Multiculturalism Minister supports ban on Hizb ut-Tahrir

November 7, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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In a wide-ranging three-hour NSW Parliamentary hearing on counter-terrorism and prisons on Friday, NSW Shadow Minister for Police and Counter Terrorism Walt Secord tabled a letter from NSW Multiculturalism Minister Natalie Ward where said she stated that she supported investigating a ban on Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Walt Secord

Minister Ward was responding to October 19 representations by Walt  Secord to the Perrottet Government on the hateful activity of Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Secord, who is also deputy chair of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel received the letter on November 4 – on the eve of the counter terrorism parliamentary hearing.

At a separate parliamentary hearing on October 29 under questioning from Mr Secord, NSW confirmed that the latest video of Hizb ut-Tahrir had been referred to the terrorism intelligence unit for assessment and the Fixated Persons Unit for investigation.

Walt Secord presented the Ward letter in the November 5th hearing with NSW Minister for Counter Terrorism Anthony Roberts. Mr Roberts told the November 5 hearing: “It’s clearly unacceptable and it’s abhorrent and I thank you for the question. I’m too aware of the footage posted on YouTube. The rally. And now a second video of course of a rally held in May by this group. I want to place it on record and the NSW is a strong and connected community. Unfortunately, there are a number of individuals with extreme and violent views who wanted to divide us and threaten our safety. And I want to place it on record again that there’s no tolerance for this incitement of violence.

Symbols of hatred and antisemitism are unacceptable anywhere in our community. This government is committed to addressing racially motivated hate crime, racial discrimination, and racial vilification in NSW. And this includes public threats and incitement to violence on the basis of race or religion. The matter, I’m advised is being investigated by the terrorism Intelligence Unit, within the NSW Police Force. And if I could just be very careful in public, other agencies have also, I think, shown an interest.”

Mr Roberts also confirmed that the NSW Government was in discussions with their Federal counterparts in relation to Hezbollah, but he stopped short of supporting a full listing of the organisation.

At the parliamentary hearing, Mr Secord said in light of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the Glasgow climate conference asking the Australian Prime Miniser Scott Morrison to designate all of Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation, “what was the NSW Government’s view on proscribing Hezbollah”?

In response, Mr Roberts said: “Terrorist organisations are listed in the Criminal Code Act, the Commonwealth one of 1995. With respect to this regard, I am advised that Australia like the European Union has banned the external security organisation of Hezbollah, not the group as a whole.

“For an organisation be listed, the Commonwealth Minister of Home Affairs must be satisfied on reasonable grounds that the organisation is directly engaged in or preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of a terrorist act, or advocates the doing of a terrorist act.  So from the NSW perspective, we provide advice as well as intelligence to the Commonwealth about listing or relisting terrorist organisations. And that was set out in an inter-government agreement on counter-terrorism laws in 2004. In NSW, it’s me to respond to the Commonwealth on behalf of the premier. There are ongoing discussions between the Commonwealth and the States on this issue,” Mr Robert said.

At the hearing, Senior NSW bureaucrat Pia Van de Zandt, who is the acting executive director, Strategy and Programs in NSW Department of Communities and Justice confirmed that the counter terrorism hotline – Step Together hotline 1 800 875 204 – which was set up June 2017 had received 5,113 calls from the public. While Ms Van de Zandt declined to give details of its referrals, she said that calls had been referred to NSW Police and mental health services involving people who were on the path to extremism.

Mr Secord also asked about the return to NSW of so-called ISIS brides and foreign Jihadi fighters, countering extremism programs and High-Risk Terrorist Offenders in the community. The officials responded but did not provide details, saying they were monitoring them. The Minister also said that eight high-risk offenders were under extended supervision orders and one person is under an interim order.



One Response to “NSW Multiculturalism Minister supports ban on Hizb ut-Tahrir”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    Sometimes banning organizations only drives them underground which may be counter productive. It is better to have them in the open in most cases.

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