An inquiry into alt-right behaviours in the NSW Young Nationals has led councillor Nathan Furry to take a moral stance and leave them.
The Yass Valley deputy mayor has been a member since 2013 and was vice chairman in 2016/17. The Young Nationals have confirmed he is not under investigation.
“I've made the decision to end my involvement with the NSW Young Nationals in light of recent media commentary regarding alt-right behaviour within the party,” Cr Furry said.
Cr Furry denied “any connection to being involved in branch stacking or neo-fascist behaviour” within the party. “I feel that this reported behaviour is not reflective of what the majority of NSW Young Nationals believe in,” he said.
“I also believe that there is far more that will need to be done by the senior Party to allow for the necessary changes to occur within the youth wing before it can get back on track with representing youth in our regions.”
“[We] will not rest until every last one of these extremists have been identified and removed from the party."
Cr Furry said he was asked to stand as chairman of the youth wing by some Young Nationals at their last conference.
“Due to an impression that there was something far greater at play and with sound judgement, I determined that nominating for such a position was not in the best interest and refrained from joining the branch executive,” he said. He remains a member of the National Party’s Yass branch.
The investigation into alt-right behaviour within the NSW Young Nationals has resulted in at least 15 members resigning, the ABC reported last Saturday.
A joint statement from the National Party’s chairman Bede Burke, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said: “[We] will not rest until every last one of these extremists have been identified and removed from the party.
“The politics of hate and racism have no place in our party or any modern democracy, and we will not tolerate attempts by extremists to hijack democratic processes.
“The views promoted by these people go beyond the 'contest of ideas' that politics should be about and are instead the same small-minded, hateful beliefs that Australians have always stood against,” it read.