THE horrors of Christchurch unfolded on a television screen at the Community Security Group (CSG) offices last Friday at the same time the NSW government was announcing $2 million in security funding for the Jewish community.
The announcement by Coogee MP Bruce Notley-Smith and Vaucluse MP Gabrielle Upton matches a similar pledge made by state Labor last month, meaning the funding is now guaranteed regardless of which party forms government after Saturday’s state election.
Added to the $2.2 million promised by federal government last October, it will enable the community to conduct much-needed upgrades to security infrastructure.
Notley-Smith said the money “is vital to ensure the safety and security of the Jewish community across Sydney”.
“We have listened to the community and this is the right thing to do,” he said.
Upton said “the strong financial management” of the NSW Liberals and Nationals meant the government could fund “an important program like this”.
“The community made a strong case for assistance and I am pleased there will be improved security for more than 30 Jewish places of worship, aged-care facilities and schools,” she said.
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBOD) president Lesli Berger said, “We thank the Liberal government for agreeing to provide these sorely needed funds to pay for our community’s vital security infrastructure.
“We warmly welcome the government’s funding commitment to ensure that the Jewish community’s security infrastructure needs are substantially met.”
NSW Council for Jewish Community Security chair Peter Wise said he was “pleased that the state government has responded to the community’s request for security funding”.
He noted that the funds would be primarily applied to strengthening the network of dedicated CCTV cameras and the community’s control room and crisis centre, as well as other related items of infrastructure.
“Together, these items will boost our capability and preparedness and enable members of our community to go about their daily lives knowing that the state government has contributed towards maintaining a safer community environment.”