$10 million community boost pledge

If re-elected, the NSW Liberals and Nationals government plan to invest in security for faith communities.

Premier Dominic Perrottet. Photo: Supplied
Premier Dominic Perrottet. Photo: Supplied

THE NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBD) has welcomed the NSW Liberals and Nationals government pledge to invest $10 million to boost safety and security for faith communities, should they be re-elected.

Through a $10 million grants program, faith organisations will be supported to strengthen safety and security at religious institutions where there is a demonstrated risk, including places of worship, schools, community centres and buildings displaying religious symbols.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said everyone across NSW should be able to follow and practise their faith freely, and without fear or concern for their safety and wellbeing.

“No matter where you’re from, what language you speak, or the faith you follow, everyone deserves tolerance and respect in our state.

“This commitment will build on this principle to protect communities, increase tolerance and ultimately help people feel safer.”

The $10 million program will provide capital and operational funding for a range of safety measures to strengthen preparedness and response to safety risks, including security and detection software and systems, communal security services, lighting, fencing, CCTV, training staff, and wellbeing programs for community members. Importantly, management of security at high-risk venues or particularly at-risk sites will also be eligible for funding, as assessed by NSW Police.

“An attack on one faith is an attack on us all, and this much-needed funding will go a long way to keeping all communities in NSW safe from harm,” said JBD president David Ossip.

“Today’s announcement ensures faith communities are equipped to deter violent attacks, and assists authorities with the prosecution of the offenders. We thank the NSW government and the members of the Religious Communities Advisory Council who have made this a reality.”

Liberal candidate for Vaucluse Kellie Sloane said it’s an, “incredibly important program ensuring the safety and security for our communities of faith.”

“The Jewish community has been an important part of our local community and has made an amazing contribution, so it is vital that we help to support its safety.

“With the unfortunate escalation in hate crimes against the community, the Perrottet Government has come to the community’s aid so that it can practise its faith without fear. This freedom is one of the important aspects of living in modern-day New South Wales , and we need to protect it.”

Liberal candidate for Davidson Matt Cross said: “This is a really important program for the community, and it is being implemented in co-operation with the community leadership.

“The Perrottet Government’s strong economic management has meant that it can provide support for important community initiatives like this, to ensure that we are able to look after those that need our help.

“There is much work ahead to do away with antisemitism, and I am proud of the work that has been done by the Perrottet Government including banning the public display of Nazi Symbols.”

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