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Budget 2010: Countering violent extremism in our community.



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ATTORNEY-GENERAL HON ROBERT McCLELLAND MP

MEDIA RELEASE

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600  Telephone (02) 6277 7300  Fax (02) 6273 4102 www.attorneygeneral.gov.au

11 May 2010

COUNTERING VIOLENT EXTREMISM IN OUR COMMUNITY

The threat of violent extremism will be targeted by a $9.7 million package of measures announced by the government.

Attorney-General, Robert McClelland said that the Government’s recent Counte r-Terrorism White Paper acknowledged the risk of home grown terrorism and highlighted the importance of building a strong and resilient community to resist violent extremism and terrorism.

The Australian Government remains committed to building a strong and resilient community able to resist the development of violent extremism and terrorism on the home front.

“The threat from terrorism is real, persistent and evolving, and in the face of this the first responsibility of Government is the protection of Australia, Australians and Australia’s interests,” Mr McClelland said.

These measures underpin the comprehensive government strategy to counter violent extremism, and draws together programs that focus on:

• identifying and diverting people at risk of violent extremism; • supporting rehabilitation and de-radicalisation programs conducted by State and Territory police and correctional services; • engaging with communities to improve social cohesion and resilience, including

through local meetings and focus groups; • developing mentoring programs for ‘at risk’ youth in partnership with relevant community groups; • examining the role of the internet in the radicalisation process; and • improving responses to violent extremist messages and ensuring they are evidence-

based and appropriate to Australian circumstances.

These measures complement a range of existing initiatives which form part of the Government’s broader social inclusion and national security agendas, including:

• $2 million per year of National Counter-Terrorism Committee funds committed to countering violent extremism across Australia; • $10.8 million over four years for the Diversity and Social Cohesion program under the Department of Immigration and Citizenship; • $4.3 million over four years for the Australian Human Rights Commission towards

building resilience in vulnerable communities and addressing social exclusion; • $28.1 million over three years as part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s international counter-terrorism engagement activities; and

Attorney General News Release 2

• $32 million for community engagement and counter-terrorism initiatives conducted by agencies within the Attorney-General’s portfolio.

“An effective counter-terrorism strategy requires a combination of security and law enforcement responses, and broader strategies to enhance social cohesion and resilience that lessen the appeal of extremist ideologies that fuel terrorism.”

Media Contact: Adam Siddique 0407 473 630