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Wednesday, 9 November 2016
Page: 2264

Senator XENOPHON (South Australia) (10:11): I indicate that we will not be supporting Senator Hanson's amendment in relation to this. I understand the rationale for it. I accept the arguments of both the government and the opposition, but I think there is also a practical difficulty. There may be instances where a minor subject to this particular section has no relationship with their parents at all, where they have had their minds poisoned, have been radicalised, have absolutely nothing to do with their parents and are in the clutches of extremists—they have been, effectively, brainwashed, and their parents have absolutely no control over them. I do not think in those circumstances it would be reasonable or practical to impose what is suggested in this section. I understand Senator Hanson's concerns in respect of taxpayer funds and the like, but I think that in those circumstances this amendment would not be practical.

Whilst we are in the committee stage—I did not get an opportunity earlier—this in a sense segues into a question I would like to ask. I am happy for the Attorney to perhaps answer it in the course of this debate—by the end of the debate, if he could give me that undertaking. It is not a trick question and it relates to the issue of counter-radicalisation measures. When Senator Fierravanti-Wells was the Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney-General and Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs, she did a lot of work—very commendable work—dealing with counter-radicalisation measures. Obviously, in this case I would like to hear from the government given that there is going to be a much stricter regime dealing with these matters. What efforts are going to be made and what efforts will continue to be made to deal with counter-radicalisation measures? What resources are going into it to extend the very commendable work the government has done on this and the very commendable work that Senator Fierravanti-Wells did? I guess it is a case where prevention is better than the cure; I think prevention is better than a preventative detention order. That is the sort of thing for which I would appreciate the Attorney in the course of the committee stage outlining what is being done, because I see the two going in concert with each other. There are these measures for community safety but there is also ensuring that the poison of these extremists does not find its way into the minds of young people.