Labor says an audit of prayer groups should be expanded after a NSW police accountant was shot dead last week.
Labor says an audit of prayer groups should be expanded after a NSW police accountant was shot dead last week. NSW Police | Facebook

Labor wants inquiry into school radicalisation

NSW Labor has called for a bipartisan parliamentary inquiry into radicalisation in schools after a 15-year-old student carried out a terror attack in Sydney last week.

Shadow Education Minister Linda Burney said a recent audit of prayer groups in NSW schools should be expanded to investigate options for teachers and principals to act if they believe radicalisation is at play.

"Education is one of the best tools we have to encourage social cohesion and ensure young people don't become disenfranchised or marginalised," she said.

"To see a 15-year-old commit such a horrific act is truly disturbing, we need to be sure that students are never exposed to this kind of radicalisation in schools.

"The government needs to do everything it can to ensure students and the broader community are protected from the threat of radicalisation - we need to know how the Education Department is managing the risks now and how it can do better in the future."

Arthur Phillip High School student Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar shot and killed police accountant Curtis Cheng outside NSW Police headquarters in Parramatta last week.

Premier Mike Baird told a media conference he had "no doubt" the shooting was a terrorist attack.

"Anyone else that may have been involved in that horrendous crime on Friday ... we will track them down," he said.

Australia's Grand Mufti Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed refused to call the attack an act of terrorism on Friday.

Speaking through an interpreter, he blamed the radicalisation of Australian youth on the influence of "Sheikh Google, Sheikh Twitter and Sheikh Facebook" and "imported" teachings.

"It is not just a religious problem that may have led to these things," he said.

"It's religious, ideological, social and other factors that may have contributed to this kind of motivation."

The government says it is already working with police and the Muslim community on the issue and would make an announcement on the issue in the coming weeks.

Ms Burney said any inquiry would have the Opposition's full support.

"Fundamentally this will require a coherent policy, and a bipartisan inquiry would help tell us exactly where the issues are and how best we can respond," she said.

"The government's last audit found nothing to report to police - we need something more thorough to establish how best to prevent radicalisation in schools."

-APN NEWSDESK



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