Alister Henskens (pictured) will continue to advocate for investments into schools, local hospitals and public transport in Wahroonga if re-elected.
Henskens, who is also the NSW Trade Minister, has been in Parliament since the 2015 state election and was a “big public supporter of the St Ives eruv against community opposition”.
“I have had good engagement with Masada College, the Jewish Board of Deputies and had a trade mission to Israel last year which was incredibly productive,” Henskens told The AJN.
Henskens’ father and his siblings were witnesses to the Holocaust in the Netherlands.
“[My father] was in the Dutch Resistance and lost Jewish friends. One of his brothers’ wife had a Jewish mother and two of her teenage children lived in their attic for over two years in order to save their lives,” he said.
Henskens said he is proud of the measures the government has supported to keep the Jewish community safe.
“Any group should be able to safely conduct their lawful activities and deserve tolerance and respect as they do. A multicultural, multi-faith society enriches us all,” he said.
“The NSW Liberal government has promoted religious freedom with a zero tolerance policy towards antisemitism; prohibited the public display of the Nazi symbol and the hateful ideology it represents; provided important safeguards against hate speech and vilification through the creation of a new offence of publicly threatening or inciting violence against people on several grounds including race and religious affiliation; provided a $28 million package in the 2022 NSW Budget to support multicultural communities, the largest investment in interfaith communities in NSW government history.
“The package included the establishment of a Religious Communities Advisory Council which held its first meeting in January 2023 and pledged, if re-elected, a $10 million grants program to provide capital and operational finding for a range of safety measures for faith-based groups and organisations.”