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Gaza Conflict

Hansard ID: HANSARD-1323879322-136559

Hansard session: Fifty-Eighth Parliament, First Session (58-1)

Gaza Conflict

Mr MARK COURE (Oatley) (11:41:53):

My question is directed to the Minister for Multiculturalism. Will the Minister update the House on the support that the Government is providing to Jewish, Islamic and other communities in light of the ongoing events in the Middle East?

Mr STEPHEN KAMPER (RockdaleMinister for Small Business, Minister for Lands and Property, Minister for Multiculturalism, and Minister for Sport) (11:42:20):

— That is a much more decent question from the shadow Minister for Multiculturalism. I thank him for that. It has been a difficult time since 8 October, and we have seen the challenges within the community. Let us put it into perspective. New South Wales prides itself on being the most successful multicultural community in the world. It is exceptionally important that we work with those communities now. We need to draw upon our deep connections and work through this issue. I will be the first to say that this past week I have made some of the most complicated phone calls of my life. But we cannot give up. Many times we have to cop what comes at us. It is a complex situation.

It is important that in this House we are careful about our question time strategy, our messaging and the things we do in between. It is exceptionally important that we do not inflame the situation. It is incumbent upon us to work hard within our ethnic communities, because people are in pain and the crisis in the Middle East is evolving every day. It is important that we care for the loss of all civilian life and we respect that it is complicated. We need to do our best to ensure that we keep the community intact during this difficult period. The New South Wales Government and Multicultural NSW have been engaging with community leaders since Sunday 8 October 2023. We are extending our sympathies, listening to community perspectives and keeping lines of communication open. Multicultural NSW, the NSW Police Force and the Premier's Department are engaging closely with the Commonwealth agencies to monitor the issue and coordinate community engagement efforts.

I have been amazed by the work of the police and the police Minister throughout this period. There has been no better engagement and connection with our community. I reinforce that. Multicultural NSW has activated the NSW Community Resilience and Response Plan, COMPLAN. The work of Joseph La Posta and the whole of Multicultural NSW has been exceptional. COMPLAN draws together New South Wales agencies in a coordinated, whole-of-government approach to managing risks to community harmony. The COMPLAN response includes representatives of the Premier's Department, the Department of Education, the Department of Communities and Justice—


The Minister's time has expired. I thank the Minister. Members will come to order. I recognise the difficult subject matter that the Minister was dealing with. Before I call the member for Gosford, I welcome Anais Carlyle and Olivia Ryan, students from St Joseph's Catholic College East Gosford who are shadowing the member for Gosford in Parliament today. Welcome.