Labor’s plans for security upgrade in Melbourne

April 20, 2016 by J-Wire
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A Shorten Labor Government will match the Victorian Government’s commitment to provide $500,000 for major security upgrades to the Beth Weizmann Community Centre in Melbourne.

Mark Dreyfus, Premier Daniel Andrews and Michael Danby

Mark Dreyfus, Premier Daniel Andrews and Michael Danby

Caulfield’s Beth Weizmann is home to more than 30 Jewish community organisations and is Victoria’s major Jewish Community centre. It is an important place of gathering, and is used nightly for various public and private functions as well as youth movement meetings. It houses the Lamm Jewish Library of Australia and is home to Synagogue services on weekends. Its centrality to the Victorian Jewish community and its constant usage by the Jewish community, staff and volunteers of all ages make its security and safety vital.

Victorian Labor made a pre-election commitment in 2014 to provide $500,000 to Beth Weizmann for a vital security upgrade to build a blast-proof wall to protect it from a potential major terror attack.

The Andrews State Government fulfilled that promise and has ever since lobbied the Federal Government to match that funding, so that the upgrade can be funded and proceed.

Jennifer Huppert [JCCV], Premier Daniel Andrews, Dr Danny Lamm {ZFA} and Sharene Hambur [Zionism Victoria]

Jennifer Huppert [JCCV], Premier Daniel Andrews, Dr Danny Lamm {ZFA} and Sharene Hambur [Zionism Victoria]

Both the Abbott and Turnbull Governments have failed to respond to that request and have committed zero funding.

If elected, a Federal Labor Government, under Bill Shorten, will match the Victorian Government’s commitment so that this vital upgrade can provide the safety and security that the Jewish community needs. The costs will be absorbed by the Attorney-General’s department.

A  spokesperson said: “Labor is fully committed to the safety, security and harmony of all multicultural communities in Australia. Labor also recognises that security threats to the Jewish community of Australia are significant and merit government support, to ensure that attacks on Jewish communities overseas in France, Belgium, Denmark, Argentina and beyond never occur in Australia. Beth Weizmann has been identified at particular risk, and merits this significant funding between State and Federal Governments.

A Shorten Labor Government will always act, just as previous Labor Governments have, to protect community safety and security and to strengthen social cohesion.”

Premier Daniel Andrews told J-Wire: “We’ve made good on our promise to make the Beth Weizmann Community Centre safer – and it’s very disappointing that  both Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull  have ignored our requests to contribute to these important safety upgrades.”

President of The Jewish Community Council of Victoria Jennifer Huppert told J-Wire: ” The JCCV is appreciative of this decision and in particular the support of Federal members of parliament Michael Danby and Mark Dreyfus.

We appreciate the strong support from the Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews, who has expressed his concern and support for the security and safety concerns of the Victorian Jewish community, and we thank him for his efforts in obtaining support for improved physical security at the Beth Weizmann Community Centre.”

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