Over the January 26 weekend, a group of far-right extremists performed a ritual that is usually associated with the Klu Klux Klan, burning a cross at Grampians National Park. They also intimidated locals at Halls Gap, chanting racist slogans.

According to The Age, the thirty-eight people involved belong to the far-right group National Socialist Network, which sounds strikingly similar to the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (otherwise known as the Nazi Party).

The neo-Nazi group was first spotted last Saturday at an ancient rock cavern in the Grampians National Park singing ‘Waltzing Matilda’ and wearing black T-shirts with a Celtic-like symbol on the front. Some were in army fatigues, others were performing the Nazi salute.

Image: Obtained by The Age.

The same group were also spotted by locals marching through Halls Gap on Sunday and Monday. The group gathered at a barbecue area and were heard screaming racist slogans.

One local told The Age that a man from the group said: “We are the Ku Klux Klan.”

Locals and tourists reported the men to the police, and on Monday six police officers from Stawell spoke to the group, including their leader Tom Sewell, an ex-army soldier.

Shortly after the altercation, Sewell posted the police identification name tags online.

Authorities are growing increasingly concerned about these far-right groups, and on Thursday morning The Age revealed that local police and intelligence officers from Victoria Police’s Counter Terrorism Command were collecting information about the group.

“We do not need to wait for a Christchurch [terror attack] in Melbourne to act,” Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, Dr Dvir Abravomich told The Age

“This group and others, are creating an echo chamber and incubator on the net, taking full advantage of their virtual audience to feed and amplify their vitriolic fantasies about an Aryan Australia, without Jews, Muslims, Aboriginals, the disabled, immigrants, members of the LGBTQI community and anyone else they deem ‘inferior’.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews also commented on the incident.

“I won’t comment on individual circumstances because they may well be the subject of Victoria Police work. But I will just say there is no place for that kind of anti-Semitism in our state, there is no place for that sort of bigotry and hatred,” he said.

Image: Image obtained by The Age