Tuesday, 21 February 2023

Members statements

Türkiye and Syria earthquakes


Türkiye and Syria earthquakes

Evan MULHOLLAND (Northern Metropolitan) (13:19): I rise to deliver a members statement on the humanitarian tragedy occurring in Türkiye and Syria. The loss of life and displacement is hard to fathom. The latest figures reveal that over 47,000 people have perished, more than 100,000 others have been injured and over 3 million people have been displaced. I wish to put on record my support for the funding both the Australian government and the Victorian government have contributed towards the relief efforts.

What is inspiring to me is the work being done locally in the northern suburbs to support the relief effort. Communities are coming together to send off clothes, blankets, baby formula and other items to their home countries. I want to particularly acknowledge my friends at the Australian Turkish Friendship Association, who I was with at much happier times at the start of the year in my electorate to welcome new international students to Australia. The work they have been doing to support their community is incredible, and I want to acknowledge particularly Ali Sahin, Murat Sahin and Baris Duzova. Over the weekend I visited them at their stall at Greenvale shopping centre, where they briefed me on their efforts. They held that stall to fundraise but also to help community members to get in touch with agencies and contact families back home.

I was also privileged to attend a fundraising dinner in Epping on Sunday hosted jointly by the Australian Muslim Business Council, UID Melbourne and the Australian Turkish Institute. It was a terrific event, where I was joined by my parliamentary colleagues Trung Luu and Matthew Guy, and I want to pay particular tribute to Abdullah Altintop, who put on the event. The Northern Metro has a large Turkish diaspora, and I wish to offer my support for that community.