Conspiracy theorist David Icke has branded Australia an "Orwellian totalitarian state" and said he was "shocked and appalled" to have his visa cancelled on the eve of a national tour.
Jewish community leaders have praised the decision to ban controversial conspiracy theorist and alleged Holocaust denier David Icke from entering Australia ahead of his scheduled speaking tour.
The national tour was set to begin on March 1, but last month Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation Commission, began lobbying Minister for Immigration David Coleman to have his visa cancelled.
“We gave Minister Coleman all the materials, we analysed David Icke’s writing and we provided him with a smoking gun,” Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the Anti-defamation Commission, told SBS News.
"Bravo Minister Coleman for heeding our call and for declaring in a loud voice that antisemites and Holocaust deniers will never find a home in Australia.
“This was a defining moment for who we are as a nation, and we salute the government for taking a clear-eyed and moral stance in rejecting hate and incitement.”
In a statement on Twitter, Mr Icke said he was “shocked and appalled” to have received the news that his visa had been revoked “just hours before boarding a flight”.
“I have been a victim of a smear campaign from politicians who have been listening to special interest groups attempting to discredit my beliefs, my views and my character by spreading lies,” he said, clarifying that he is not an anti-semite or Holocaust denier.
British-born Icke has been accused of Holocaust denial by federal Labor candidate, Josh Burns, who wrote to Mr Coleman requesting his visa be cancelled on the grounds he "promotes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and has an extensive history of spreading hate."
Mr Burns welcomed the news on Wednesday.
"Neo-Nazis recently marching in St Kilda should be enough of a reminder that we don't need Mr Icke's ugly hate coming to our proudly multicultural Australia," he said.
Mr Icke claimed the government claimed his visit was a “risk to the health, safety or good order of the Australian community or a segment of the Australian community”, a rational he said isn't true.
Mr Icke, 66, is well-known for holding bizarre views, including that the September 11 attacks were an inside job and that the Jewish people funded the Holocaust.
It’s not the first time he has courted controversy in Australia. During a 2016 tour, he claimed that members of the British royal family were shape-shifting reptiles. Mr Icke also believes there are reptile hybrids embedded in Australia's wealthy political class but has declined to name names.
He was due to address audiences in Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart and Sydney this time around.
“Allowing Icke into our country would have crossed red lines and would have sent the message that it is open season on the Jewish community and that vilifying and maligning Australian Jews is ok and normal,” Mr Abramovich added.
“It is the sweetest victory of all. It's a victory for everybody."
A spokesperson for Mr Coleman said he could not comment on individual cases.