Early intervention program to counter violent extremism

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The NSW Government will turn to community groups as it explores ways to identify young Australians at risk of becoming disengaged from society.

NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Multiculturalism John Ajaka tonight announced $4 million in new funding, over two years, would go toward creating the NSW Countering Violent Extremism Early Intervention Program.

Baird said extensive community consultation would be undertaken as the NSW develops a plan to address the recruitment tactics of extremists.

“The nature of the problem we face today means we must have the community on board if we are to successfully combat this scourge on our society,” Baird said.

“Consultation is the key to ensuring community groups are at the heart of any plan aimed at ensuring young Australians make positive contributions to society, while identifying those who become disengaged as quickly as possible.”

Ajaka said the program would aim to address the evolving threat posed by foreign fighters and lone actors and would support local communities to engage at-risk young people to divert them from violent extremism.

“We need a long term holistic solution that builds on the strengths of our diversity and fosters a sense of hope and opportunity in our youth,” Ajaka said.

Over the coming months, Minister Ajaka will work with community and religious leaders, organisations and experts to develop and deliver mentoring and support programs in priority communities across the state.

The Department of Education will also implement a range of CVE initiatives within existing resources to address anti-social behaviour in NSW schools.

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