“It is politicians like Peter Dutton who have actually contributed to creating an atmosphere where hate is allowed to actually incubate in our society,” Senator Faruqi told ABC radio on Monday morning.
“They can’t shrug off their responsibility. What they’ve been doing does come with a cost, it does come with consequences, because really they’ve been playing games with our lives.”
In response, Mr Dutton said Senator Faruqi and Senator Di Natale were on the “extreme left” and equated their statements with those of Senator Anning, who blamed the mass shooting on “Muslim immigration”.
“I’m hardly going to take morals lectures from the extreme left who frankly are just as bad in this circumstance as people like Fraser Anning, they should equally be condemned,” he said.
“We have people on the far-left or the far-right trying to extract political advantage. I think it’s a disgrace.”
Mr Dutton also said far-right extremists had been on his radar since he took up the job of Home Affairs Minister. He denied the government and its agencies were preoccupied with Islamist terrorism and had missed Brenton Tarrant or people of his ilk.
“Our focus is on people who would seek to do us harm, wherever they are on the spectrum,” Mr Dutton told ABC Radio National. He said Tarrant had spent only 45 days in Australia over the past three years, and there was a limit to the amount of online material security agencies could monitor with their resources.
As Tarrant’s history comes under examination, attention has also turned to political factors at play in Australia that have nurtured and promoted right-wing extremism.
Senator Anning – who entered Parliament on the One Nation ticket after the disqualification of Malcolm Roberts – has been widely condemned for his remarks and faces censure by the Senate when Parliament returns next month.
However, Senator Hanson said she would abstain from voting on the censure motion moved jointly by the Coalition and Labor because “it will not prove a damn thing”.
“He [Senator Anning] is an elected member of the Parliament,” she told Channel 7’s Sunrise program on Monday. “He has a voice.”
Michael Koziol is a political correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.