Deputy Premier John Barilaro has declared there is no room for racism in the Nationals as the Party investigates claims of “extreme-right infiltration”.
The NSW Nationals Leader spoke strongly about weeding out extreme views while speaking to ABC Canberra on Monday morning, after reports over the weekend of extreme-right groups joining the Party.
“I will call this out, there is no room in the National Party for racism or any extreme views that attack the rights of individuals,” Mr Barilaro said. “This year there’s been lots of comments in the NSW Parliament around migration and immigration numbers and I’m OK having that debate around population, but I’m not ok when we actually single out different types of communities.”
Mr Barilaro took a hardline stance against racism during the Cootamundra and Murray by-elections in 2017, where far-right candidates ran against Nationals.
“I have no problems calling this out, this is something I’m very strong on, I do not accept racism,” Mr Barilaro said. “As the son of a young migrant family, I grew up in an Australia at a time where in the schools and in the communities where racism was in our face … I know what it’s like to be at the other end of this and that’s why I will never back down when it comes to racism in this nation.”
The NSW Nationals are seeking additional information to aid the investigation, which has already seen one person asked to leave the Party, two others sent ‘show cause’ notices and two members of the Young Nationals Executive being suspended. The Party has also temporarily suspended processing new memberships in of the Young Nationals.
“I hope this will be resolved very, very soon, within a couple of weeks,” Mr Barilaro said. “(The media) has given us plenty of ammunition … if this information is correct and there is no reason to believe it is not (people) will be held to account.”