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PM Abbott all huff, no puff on countering violent extremism

Media Release
Christine Milne 10 Mar 2015

Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne says it's time the Abbott government used the money it has set aside for deradicalisation programs.

"It's easy to see what programs they've defunded, but not one cabinet minister can point to a program working right now to help communities deradicalise young people," said Senator Milne.

"It is time the Prime Minister stopped just pushing the terror button and actually got out there and started to work in prisons, in schools, and in communities to make sure that we counter the messages coming from the jihadists.

"The Prime Minister has announced $630 million for counter-terrorism efforts. $13 million of that is earmarked for deradicalisation programs, but how much has actually been spent?

"We have now had community leaders release letters they've written to the Prime Minister, offering to be engaged in deradicalisation programs, but the PM has done nothing.

"We are not going to make Australia safer by sending more troops into Iraq. What we need to be doing is bringing people together in Australia, building social cohesion, and working to deliver those programs," said Senator Milne.

"Families can't do it on their own, but neither can governments. You need to bring everyone together, learn from shared experience, and put money into programs that have worked here and around the world.

"That's why the Greens have introduced a bill to set up a Centre for Social Cohesion, to bring together families, government, law enforcement, academia and community groups.

"They've been asking for support, asking for programs to be rolled out, but the Abbott government can't point to any program they've funded.

"It seems the Prime Minister wants to press the terror button , press the fear button, send soldiers into a quagmire in the Middle East, but he's not prepared to help communities deal with the problem in Australia."

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