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Statement by ZCV on Election Pledges made by the ALP and the Liberal/National Coalition

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The Zionist Council of Victoria President Sam Tatarka has warmly welcomed the pledges made by both sides of politics to assist with community security and in particular the security needs of Beth Weizmann Community Centre. 

The pledge made by Planning Minister Matthew Guy and David Southwick the Member for Caulfield (and co-convenor of the Parliamentary Friends of Israel) on November 11 was for a fund of $1 million dollars per annum for two years ($2 million in total) for social cohesion projects to minimise the impact of international and national events in Victoria. Whilst the fund is to be open to applications from all sectors of the Victorian community, Minister Guy made specific mention of the security concerns that face Beth Weizmann in his remarks to those gathered at the Jewish Holocaust Centre for the announcement.

Leader of the Opposition Daniel Andrews and his deputy, James Merlino, together with Marsha Thompson the Member for Footscray (and co-convenor of the Parliamentary Friends of Israel) and Josh Burns the ALP candidate for Caulfield made an announcement last Friday pledging a $500,000 direct grant for the security needs at Beth Weizmann Community Centre should they win the upcoming election.

President of the Zionist Council of Victoria, Sam Tatarka said, “The Zionist Council of Victoria welcomes the announcements of support made by both the Government and the Opposition for the special security needs of the Jewish Community.”  He added that “the ZCV enjoys strong bi-partisan support and prides itself on having close working relationships with both sides of politics. The ZCV does not involve itself in partisan politics and has no position on the outcome of next week’s election in Victoria.”

“It is important that it be recognised that, from a security standpoint, ours is amongst the most vulnerable of communities and that in the context of the multicultural society in which we live, the Jewish community should not be called upon unreasonably to divert funds that might otherwise be used for education and communal activity to cover the high cost of security and safety” said Mr Tatarka.