NSW Labor leader Chris Minns.

A Minns Labor Government will establish a Premier’s Prevention Panel on Racism and Extremism to address the growing safety concerns of faith and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities in NSW.

The Panel will include senior representatives of NSW agencies working with CALD and faith leaders to identify issues and to develop whole-of-government responses.

Government agencies represented on the Panel will include the NSW Police Force, Multicultural NSW, NSW Health, Department of Education, Communities and Justice, Local Government and Family and Community Services.

The Panel will consider racism and extremism at all levels – from preventing hate crimes through to tackling racial and religious bullying in schools.

The latest Islamophobia in Australia Report found racist incidents increased after the Christchurch terror attacks in 2019. Women and children are often targeted with 85 per cent of female victims wearing a hijab.

Antisemitism is on the rise with a 38 per cent increase since 2020, leading to the highest number of incidents on record. There were also numerous examples of Chinese Australians being racially abused during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to the new Panel, NSW Labor has announced:

  • $15 million in funding for faith organisations to improve safety and security at religious institutions including places of worship, schools, community centres, and buildings
  • Making religious vilification unlawful by amending the Anti-Discrimination Act within 100 days of taking office.

Quotes attributable to Chris Minns, NSW Labor Leader:

“We are so lucky that so many people have come to NSW and made a life for themselves here.”

“Our state is all the more richer, vibrant and diverse.”

“NSW needs a comprehensive approach so we can respond to hate crimes when they occur and help prevent them in the first place.”

“The roots of racism and extremism begin long before it manifests itself into acts of violence and destruction, and Labor’s policy will tackle the issue at the source.”

“Everyone deserves to be treated with tolerance and respect, no matter your faith, where you come from, or how you look.”

Quotes attributable to Steve Kamper, Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism:

“Labor’s announcement ensures faith communities are equipped to deter attacks and address the root causes of violence.”

“We are witnessing an increase in the number of race and religious-based instances of vilification, racism and violence and Labor will help the community address the issue.”

Quotes attributable to Bilal Rauf, Spokesperson for the Australian National Imam’s Council (ANIC)

“The Muslim community in NSW welcomes this commitment to fight religious and racial discrimination from Chris Minns and NSW Labor. These protections help in ensuring a harmonious society in which all citizens feel valued.”

“Islamophobia, anti-Muslim sentiment and vilification is real, particularly for Muslim women who are readily identifiable by the religious attire they choose to wear. It needs to be addressed at the highest levels of Government. We are pleased that Chris Minns is taking this issue seriously and looking to address it.”

Quotes attributable to Darren Bark, CEO of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies:

“We welcome NSW Labor’s commitment to combating racism and extremism in NSW.”

“Antisemitic and other faith-based hate incidents are at the highest levels NSW has ever seen. Unfortunately, not only are the threats against our communities increasing, but also the costs of protecting them, so we welcome NSW Labor’s bipartisan support for security funding.”

“Fighting hate is everyone’s responsibility and requires a whole-of-government response to combat this scourge.”