Security grants welcomed

March 19, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Community leaders have welcomed Prime Minister Morrison’sannouncement of $55 million in grants to increase security, following the terrorist attacks in New Zealand.

PM Scott Morrison 

President of the ZFA, Jeremy Leibler said, “We warmly welcome the Federal Government commitment to keeping Australia’s religious communities safe, including the Jewish community which faces a growing threat”.

“As Jews, we know all too well what it is like to live in fear. The Tree of Life massacre in Pittsburgh is still fresh in our minds and of course the horrific terrorist attack against two Mosques in New Zealand last week,” Mr Leibler added.

“Our community does not take for granted the bipartisan support for religious protections in Australia. We appreciate the financial support announced by the Morrison Government which will enable our community to continue gathering and practising its religious practices, free from persecution,” Mr Leibler concluded.

The co-CEO of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry Peter Wertheim added: “Addressing the ever-growing costs of communal security is an ongoing priority for the Jewish community. The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, through the Council for Jewish Community Security, provides the vehicle through which tax-deductible donations can be made for this purpose.

However, we urgently need direct government assistance. We are especially in need of funding to help meet the burgeoning recurrent costs of engaging security personnel and maintaining our security preparedness, as well as further funding towards the costs of upgrading and maintaining our security infrastructure, hardening communal buildings, installing CCTV cameras and bollards and other capital works.

Protecting and safeguarding the physical security of all of the country’s citizens is the first duty of any government.  We cannot and should not have to meet the burden alone.

We, therefore, welcome the government’s announcement and hope that Jewish Community institutions and organisations will be more successful in obtaining grants in the future than they have been in the past, and that the elevated threats they face will be as well understood by the relevant government departments as they are by our law enforcement agencies.”

 

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