$2million grant for the NSW Jewish community

May 22, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The NSW Liberals and Nationals Government has provided $2 million to improve the Jewish community’s network of CCTV cameras, control room and crisis centre at more than 30 places of worship, aged-care facilities and schools.

Vaucuse MP Gabrielle Upton signs the cheque with Mark Speakman, Lesii Berger and John Sidoti

Member for Vaucluse Gabrielle Upton announced the grant and joined Attorney General Mark Speakman and Minister for Multiculturalism John Sidoti to present a cheque to leaders of the NSW Jewish community in Sydney last night.

“The government funding, committed during the election campaign will enable the Jewish community to strengthen its security infrastructure to better guard against threats from those who would do it harm,” Ms Upton said.

Ms Upton said the Jewish community had been closely consulted on the security upgrade project as well as the new incitement laws.

“I thank the Jewish Board of Deputies for working with the government on initiatives that improve community safety, condemn discrimination and promote tolerance and harmony in NSW,”

Mr Speakman said the funding reinforces the Government’s commitment to the safety of our diverse and vibrant community.

“Recent attacks on places of worship in New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the United States highlight the need for vigilance as we work to protect our state from a small number of individuals who seek to divide us and disrupt our way of life,” Mr Speakman said.

“We have also legislated to punish those found guilty of publicly inciting or threatening violence against people for their race, religion or membership of other protected groups. The laws strike a balance between preserving free speech and keeping the community safe.”

Mr Sidoti said the government would not tolerate behaviour that puts community safety at risk.

“Everyone in NSW should be able to go about their daily life without fearing for their safety. It’s the diversity in our community that make us stronger,” Mr Sidoti said.

Hila Tsor reports from the plenum:

NSW Attorney General, the Hon. Mark Speakman addressed the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBD) May plenum.

Speakman spoke about race hate laws and incitement of violence. The previous Section 20D of the Anti-Discriminationwas ineffective and without a single successful persecution.  

As a result, the JBD spearheaded the ‘Keep NSW Safe’ coalition in order to lobby for reform of the race-hate legislation. TheCrimes Amendment (Publicly Threatening and Inciting Violence) Bill 2018 passed unanimouslylast year making it an offense to incitement or threaten violence of people based on their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex or HIV/AIDS status in NSW.

 A public education campaign will be launched later this year regarding the new legislation.  

 Speakman acknowledged the JBD’s role creating safer communities. Particularly, Speakman thanked the tireless efforts and the energetic advocacy of Vic Alhadeff, CEO of the JBD, and the late Jeremy Spinak, past president of the JBD.

Over 30 groups alongside high profile individuals ensured that their voices were heard by joining the ‘Keep NSW Safe’ coalition.

Speakman said: ‘to protect against antisemitism specifically, and any sort of racial or religious hatred or hate requires strong legislation to be put in NSW but also requires each and every one of us never to walk by, and never to let it go uncommented on and call it out everytime it happens’.

Speakman spoke of an Executive Council of Australian Jewry report which notes that the Jewish community is the only community within Australia whose places of worship, schools, communal organizations and community centres need security in order to operate. This necessity is recognized by law enforcement agencies. As such, the Liberal party upheld their election promise and delivered a cheque to the JBD for two million dollars to go towards security funding. Speakman attributed this funding to the efforts of Gabrielle Upton who fought on behalf on the Jewish community in the government to get the funding.

JBD president Lesli Berger thanked the NSW government and the opposition for passing the legislation.


2 Responses to “$2million grant for the NSW Jewish community”
  1. michael Burd says:

    It is a shame that as Muslim immigration has dramatically increased in Australia and the west in general so to has the need for extra Jewish security I guess its a sign of the times.

  2. Adrian Jackson says:

    Don’t they have online banking in NSW. Who uses cheques these day?

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