By SAT News Desk
MELBOURNE, 20 May 2021: PM Scott Morrison and Minister Jason Wood yesterday (19 May 2021) paid a visit to the Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple, Carrum Downs. The PM and the Minister were welcomed by the temple authorities and invited devotees. A cultural program was organized to welcome the guests. The guests went around the temple and the PM addressed the gathering.
In his address, the PM acknowledged the “Hindu, Sikh, Gujarati, Tamil, Malayali and Indian and Sri Lankan community and temple leaders from all around Victoria” and the leaders of “the other faiths who have joined” the function at the temple.
He said, “When I talk about multiculturalism in Australia I often talk about it in the, as if in the context of masala. And you’ll think about a masala, a wonderful masala and how it brings together all the different spices and the smells and the colours. And they all come together, the different tastes, the bitter and the sweet, and then it makes something as you taste it, and you smell, and the aroma is something wonderful. And then you mix it in with your onions, and your chillies and your garlic, and I’m looking forward to the cooking. And it creates something absolutely magnificent. And this is, I think, a wonderful metaphor of what multiculturalism is in this country. And in particular, I think what the Hindu community and Sikh communities and so many other communities of faith bring to this country.”
About India, the PM said, “The tragedy that we see in particular in India, at the moment, and throughout the developing world, is so hard. It is so hard to see occurring. And for so many of our family and friends caught up in what is a terrible humanitarian tragedy, all I can say is that Australia will continue to do all we can to provide support to our friends, not just in India, but in other places where we know that we can provide some support. Our consular staff is providing support right now to roughly 11,000 Australians who are registered to return to Australia, including 970 who we know are particularly vulnerable. But over the course of the pandemic, more than 20,000 Australians we’ve been able to bring home from India, 20,000. And that has included almost 40 facilitated flights to bring Australians who have been in India back home to safety here.
But we know it’s not just the Australian citizens and residents and direct family members that you have concerns for. I know that your concerns go far broader than that, and they go to the Indian people more broadly. And that is why that Australia has continued to provide support. We’ve now had our second assistance flight that has gone to India, carrying oxygen concentrators and ventilators and personal protection equipment, and all of these supports. And as I’ve spoken to other leaders around the world, as well, they have equally, they have equally been wanting to provide that support.”