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Fraser Anning Confirms Taxpayers Will Foot Bill For Attending Far-Right Rally

The Independent Queensland Senator -- who came to notoriety after his "final solution" maiden speech -- flew to the Melbourne rally on the taxpayer dollar.

Senator Fraser Anning has confirmed taxpayers footed the bill for him to attend the far-right rally marred by Nazi salutes and Swastikas in Melbourne on Saturday.

The Queensland Senator told 10 News First he wasn't at the St Kilda rally "for a picnic or a party", but to represent his electorate.

He confirmed he'll pay the airfares himself if it's found that it's not appropriate for tax payer dollars to be spent.

"If they feel it wasn't for a government purpose I'll pay for it," he told 10 News First.

"However I wasn't there for fun or a picnic, so I'll see how we go."

The Senator -- who rose to infamy after using his maiden speech to call for a "final solution", a Nazi-era term used by Adolf Hitler in reference to Jewish people -- also claimed that Nazi salutes seen at Saturday's rally were the work of the "loony left" counter-protesters.

"There was definitely no Nazi salutes," he told 10 News First.

"I wouldn't be involved in something like that, I've been a big supporter of the Israelis. I'm not involved in that sort of stuff. The Nazi salutes all came from the radical, left-wing group down the road."

Two protesters are seeing throwing what appears to be a Nazi salute. Photo: ABC News.

The far right rally, led by convicted criminals Blair Cottrell and Neil Erikson, saw hundreds of police attend St Kilda beach, keeping far-right and anti-racist groups away from each other.

Anning told 10 News First labels like "neo-Nazi, fascist, [and] xenophobe" were all "typical of the left-wing media and far-left radicals who attack us for having an opinion."

Erikson and Cottrell were both found guilty in 2017 of inciting contempt, revulsion or ridicule of Muslims after staging a beheading of a mannequin with a toy sword, alongside fellow United Patriots Front member Christopher Shortis.

Anning claimed he attended the rally due to his Queensland electorate being "very, very concerned" about 'African violence' in Victoria.

"I don't think we should be bringing in any more Sudanese into the community," he said.

"They're a danger to society, we don't need to be importing here who -- a lot of them -- stay on the welfare. They're not happy with that, they need to attack us and steal cars and bash people, and all the stuff that they've been doing."

The over-reporting on crimes committed by African youths "gives an inaccurate portrayal" of overall crime in Victoria, Judge Peter Kidd told ABC's Four Corners last year.

“The media choose to report upon those cases. That creates an impression that we, that our work, a very significant proportion of our work, is taken up with African youths from the western suburbs of Melbourne. That’s a false impression," he said.

Anning's attendance at the rally has been widely condemned.

"As someone who grew up in the 50s and read about the Nazi treatment of Jews, I never thought I would see an Australian politician supporting Nazis," independent MP Tony Windsor tweeted.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said Scott Morrison should refuse support from Anning after showing he is "unfit to be in the Parliament".

Morrison condemned the rally as "ugly racial protests", but made no comment about the Senator's attendance.

A former One Nation Senator, Anning joined Bob Katter's political party in mid-2018, but was booted following his maiden speech referenced the "final solution".

Contact the author: abrucesmith@networkten.com.au