Want Hindu community to feel safe when they attend temples: NSW Minister Steve Kamper

The NSW Government is aiming to ensure places of worship across the state are safer and more secure through the Safe Places for Faith Communities Program.

The Safe Places for Faith Communities Program will see 103 community and faith organisations share in $5 million of grants to ensure the places where faith communities gather and practice remain safe. Six Hindu organisations have received over 650,000$ under this programme.

The program takes a resilience-based approach to safety and security by supporting prevention, preparedness, response and recovery measures at places where faith communities gather.

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Funds from this program will go towards upgrading security and surveillance systems as well as initiatives such as managing challenging behaviour training and multi-faith grief support.

The program is an election commitment and is part of a wider $15 million pledge over four years. It was developed in consultation with faith and religious groups and experts across the state, as well as Multicultural NSW’s Community Resilience and Response Plan (COMPLAN) Committee.

NSW Minister for Multiculturalism Steve Kamper said,

“NSW is the most successful multifaith state in Australia, our respect of the many faiths and cultures that make up this state enriches our society and our communities.

“Places of worship must always be havens where faith members can gather in peace and prayer,  knowing they are safe.”

“The NSW Government is proud to be delivering on our election commitment and we know these projects will deliver real, tangible benefits for faith communities across NSW.”

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Minister Kamper further told The Australia Today,

“We want all faith communities in NSW to feel safe and secure, including our Hindu community when they are attending their temples or community sites.”

NSW Premier Chris Minns with Multicultural Minister Steve Kamper with Tilak and Kalava at the at NSW Government’s Diwali function (File Image: NSW Government)

The Hindu organisations that have received funding under this programme are:

Satsang Hindu Maha Sabha of NSWSecurity Fencing of the Temple and Grounds$                               39,000.0042 Kibo Rd, Regents Park
Chinmaya Mission AustraliaSafety Project$                               49,670.0038 Carrington Rd, Castle Hill
Sri Venkateswara Temple, HelensburghSecurity System$                             225,746.001 Temple Rd, Helensburgh
ISKON Krishna FarmCCTV and Internet Connectivity$                               48,890.00525 Tyalgum Rd, Eungella
Vedanta Centre of SydneySecuring Religious Community Venue$                               50,000.00144A Marsden Rd, Ermington
International Society for Krishna Consciousness SydneyISKCON Sydney Temple Security Infrastructure Upgrade$                             250,000.00180 Falcon St, North Sydney

Speaking about this programme Chair of NSW Faith Affairs Council Michael Stead said:

“As faith leaders across NSW, we are very thankful that the NSW Government has listened to our requests to improve the safety and security of our places of worship.”

“We are proud of our status of one of the most successful multicultural jurisdictions in the world and know that that diversity is reflected in the many faith groups that practice in NSW.”

 “Our churches, mosques and synagogues are central to our communities and we know this program will help make them safer for generations to come.”