Wednesday, 22 February 2023
Türkiye and Syria earthquakes
Table of contents
Türkiye and Syria earthquakes
The SPEAKER (09:32): Over the past week we have seen the confronting images coming out of Türkiye and Syria showing the destruction that has been caused by the earthquakes there. On behalf of the Victorian Legislative Assembly, I wish to offer our condolences to the people of Türkiye and Syria for the immense losses they have suffered and the devastation they have endured. I also offer our sympathies to the Turkish and Syrian communities here in Victoria, who have watched with sorrow and anguish the terrible situation faced by their families and friends. It is a time when we must come together to mourn those who have been lost and to support those who are in need. As a mark of respect, I ask members to rise in their places for a minute’s silence.
Members stood in their places.
The SPEAKER: I advise that there will be a condolence book in the vestibule for MPs to sign.
John PESUTTO (Hawthorn – Leader of the Opposition) (09:34):(By leave) I thank the Leader of the House for this opportunity. Speaker, can I join with you in expressing our deep sorrow for the devastation that three earthquakes so far have visited upon the good people of Türkiye and Syria. I think I speak on behalf of the entire house here today in conveying our deepest condolences and in sending a clear message to the people of Türkiye and Syria that we in this chamber, all of us, stand united in sending not only our condolences but our strong material support for those people in this time of need.
Natalie SULEYMAN (St Albans – Minister for Veterans, Minister for Small Business, Minister for Youth) (09:35):(By leave) We have all seen the terrible scenes from the 6 February earthquake. It has been for me personally a really traumatic and difficult time over the last fortnight, with family members who have been lost and friends who have been unaccounted for, but I am extremely honoured to be a Victorian and to see the show of solidarity and support across Victoria and across Australia with businesses, community groups and so many people uniting to show their support and send their love in many ways to Türkiye and Syria. I have been to many businesses, community groups, events and fundraisers, and it has been so heartening to see so many groups who are not Turkish or Syrian saying to me, ‘What can we do to show our support to the Turkish and Syrian communities?’
Just recently, on Sunday, I was extremely moved by the generosity of the Vietnamese community. Within 4 hours they were able to raise $80,000. And not just the Vietnamese and the Quang Minh Temple but, as I said, the whole business community, community groups, schools and just about everybody across Victoria have been showing their solidarity, including our governments, federal and state and across the nation. This is a time of great sorrow for the two communities – a time to heal, a time to mourn and a time to rebuild. On behalf of our government and I would say on behalf of the house – I would also like to thank my colleagues, who have shown great support for me in the last fortnight – I hope that there will be some peace for the two communities. I would like to say from the bottom of my heart: thank you, everybody, for your compassion and solidarity. Büyük geçmiş olsun, Türkiye. Yanındayız.