The Albanese Government, in collaboration with Attorney General Mark Dreyfus KC MP, has announced a substantial grant of $40 million aimed at safeguarding faith-based places and improving security measures.
The Hindu Council of Australia has expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for this generous grant. In recent days, Hindu temples across the country have fallen victim to a series of distressing vandalism attacks.
“Hindu Council of Australia thanks the Hon Anthony Albanese, PM, for this grant,” said Surendra Jain of the Hindu Council of Australia. “Hindu temples have been a target of vandalism attacks throughout Australia in recent days. This grant will help Hindu temples to secure their places of worship with safety upgrades, such as fencing, lighting, security cameras, traffic barriers, alarm systems, access controls and security guards.”
This timely action taken by the Albanese Government addresses the urgent need to protect and preserve religious sites from potential threats. The Hindu community, representing a significant portion of Australia’s multicultural fabric, has long cherished these temples as sacred places for worship and spiritual solace. However, the recent surge in attacks (at temples in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney) has not only raised concerns about the safety of worshippers but has also undermined the values of tolerance and inclusivity that Australia prides itself on.
Earlier this month, BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in Sydney was vandalised by unknown persons. The incident occurred on Friday, 5 May 2023, between 1 am and 2 am, when the paint was found sprayed outside the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple on Eleanor Street.
The NSW Police are appealing to the public for help identifying the suspects involved in the vandalism of a Hindu temple in Rosehill, Sydney. Detectives have released images of a vehicle and a person they believe may have information to assist them in their investigation.
The $40 million grant showcases the Albanese Government’s commitment to fostering a diverse and harmonious society where people of all faiths can practice their beliefs without fear or intimidation. By investing in the protection of and security for faith-based places, the government aims to ensure that Australia remains a safe and inclusive nation for all its citizens.
As the program begins, temple administrators and local authorities will collaborate to identify and prioritise specific security needs. The grant will then be utilised to implement the necessary measures, thereby bolstering the safety and resilience of Hindu temples nationwide.
The Securing Faith-Based Places grants program will open for applications in July 2023. Details will be published on the Australian Government’s GrantConnect website.