Violent clashes have erupted between anti-immigration protesters using the Nazi salute and counter protesters outside the Victorian Parliament in Melbourne.
Police used pepper spray to contain the violence on Saturday yelling at opposing demonstrators to "get back".
Protesters dressed in black, many covering their faces, gathered on the steps of state parliament on Saturday to demonstrate against new immigration laws and were met with anti-fascists.
In a statement, Victoria Police said it had a highly visible police presence at the planned protest in Melbourne's CBD.
"Officers are equipped and well prepared to deploy resources to ensure the safety of the community and to keep the peace," it said.
"Hate and prejudice hold no place in our community and we will not tolerate any offensive and abhorrent anti-social behaviour."
Counter-protester Nick told the ABC that violence outside parliament erupted when anti-fascists "tried to get at the Nazis".
"Then they started throwing bottles at the Nazis and that point it escalated," he said.
"The police pulled out the pepper spray. There were some arrests and there was a lot of pushing and shoving."
Neo-Nazis protest 'ethnic replacement'
The anti-immigration rally was organised in response to news that Australia's migrant population is expected to grow by more than 700,000 over the next couple of years.
Migration growth is largely due to the reopening of international borders following pandemic lockdowns and is mostly made up of international students and working holiday-makers.
A federal government review carried out last year has proposed changes to the skilled migration program, student visas and employer sponsored visas.
In advertising material for Saturday's rally, organisers said they would oppose new migrants, "further exacerbating the housing crisis and ethnic replacement of white Australians in their own suburbs and towns".
Federal government minister Chris Bowen on Saturday labelled the rally "unspeakably un-Australian" and said neo-Nazis who participated represented a "fringe of political lunatics who have no place in modern Australia".
"It's unacceptable. It's not on. This is pure and simple racism and neo-Nazism is pure and simple evil.
"It has no place in our country, it needs to be condemned and it is condemned by this government."
The Victorian opposition condemned "neo-Nazi thugs and their toxic bigotry and hate".
"This sort of behaviour is completely unacceptable and against the values of an inclusive, tolerant and multicultural community," the statement from Liberal leader John Pesutto and deputy David Southwick said.
They renewed their party's commitment to work with the state government to ban the Nazi salute.
Premier Daniel Andrews flagged in March his government would introduce legislation to ban the Nazi salute in Victoria.
"Nazis and their hateful ideology aren't welcome here," he tweeted on March 20, after an anti-trans rights rally was gatecrashed by neo-Nazis who used the salute, sparking widespread outrage.
The Nazi swastika was outlawed in Victoria in 2022.
Meanwhile, Victoria Police are investigating after graffiti of the Nazi swastika was sighted in Altona in Melbourne's west.