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Minns Labor Government's Faith Affairs Council duplicates existing advisory body

The Minns Labor Government’s announcement today regarding the NSW Faith Affairs Council is just another example of a government who are more concerned about their image than delivering for our communities.

In the Coalition’s 2022-23 Budget, $1 million a year for two years was committed for improving community engagement with multi-faith and multicultural communities. This included the establishment of the NSW Religious Communities Advisory Council (NSW RCAC).

It was the first time a council like this was created, formalising the collaboration that’s been happening between the NSW Government and religious communities. Its 15 members were selected following a competitive, merit-based assessment process, led by Multicultural NSW Advisory Chair Nick Kaldas, and first met back in January 2023.

Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism, Mark Coure, expressed concerns about the duplication, noting that after 6 months in government, the Minister for Multiculturalism still can’t provide a clear answer on the difference between the existing NSW RCAC and Labor’s NSW Faith Affairs Council.

"It is essential for Government to continually improve its engagement with our faith communities, but the NSW RCAC is already funded, established and has met with Government to advise on matters relating to religious communities across NSW,” Mr Coure said.

“Aside from a rebranded name, the Minns Labor Government have not been able to provide any other differences about its Faith Affairs Council, or how much this name change will cost taxpayers.”

The Coalition’s 2022-23 NSW Budget saw $28 million invested into the State’s rich multicultural communities over two years; the largest boost to support our multicultural communities in the State’s history.