12 Oct 2023

Member for Kiama Gareth Ward has used Question Time to ask the Premier if the NSW Government will provide additional mental health resources to support NSW residents connected to Israeli, Palestinian and Aboriginal communities amidst events that could lead to greater anxiety and stress.

With October being Mental Health Month, Mr Ward said these questions were particularly pertinent.   

Mr Ward condemned the Premier for failing to answer his question and taking it on notice. 

“Whilst the conflict in the Middle East may be geographically distant, the events have caused great stress and anxiety for people with close connections to these communities in our State,” Mr Ward said. 

“Similarly, the events leading up to the referendum on the weekend have elicited a range of emotions. 

“My question to the Premier on mental health support for these communities was all about establishing if the government has considered targeted assistance and help. 

“I have spoken with people from these communities that are feeling a range of emotions at this time. Regardless of your perspective on any of these issues, the NSW Government has a duty of care and an obligation to be engaged and making clear what supports are available.

“Whilst I appreciate the resources will always be finite, I would like to know what planning, if any, has taken place to ensure those who need support are getting it. 

Mr Ward’s question to the Premier was: 

My question is directed to the Premier: 

Everyone in this chamber acknowledges that we can always do better when it comes to supporting those with mental health challenges. 

Given this is mental health month, what is your government doing to support such groups as Israeli, Palestinian and Aboriginal people who may be facing heightened stress and anxiety at this time? 

Mr Ward’s questions can be viewed here.