Anton Rose, Wentworth Courier
April 23, 2019 10:42am
The coalition has committed to $143,000 worth of funding for more CCTV cameras along the Bondi Beach promenade if elected on May 18 after a spate of racist graffiti that has drawn outrage from prominent members of the eastern suburbs community.
The news comes less than a week after disturbing remarks “white power”, “we hate n—–” and swastikas painted on the iconic sea wall were removed by Waverley Council.
Last week, both Wentworth Liberal candidate Dave Sharma and his independent rival Kerryn Phelps called for more surveillance in the area after the murals were defaced for a second time this year.
The funding will allow Waverley Council to install more cameras under the federal government’s community development grants program and it is understood council will install more cameras as soon as it receives the funds.
Liberal Waverley councillor Leon Goltsman was alerted to the find by a jogger early last Wednesday morning and plans to bring a motion to council to increase CCTV in the area.
Cr Goltsman claimed it would take about “$100,000 to $250,000” to address the issue but said the government’s announcement was “a good start”.
Waverley mayor John Wakefield did not wish to be drawn on whether more cameras were needed when asked by The Wentworth Courier last week.
The graffiti was removed within an hour by council workers.
The vandalism comes after a similar incident in February where the same murals were defaced with swastikas.
Chief executive of the NSW Board of Deputies Vic Alhadeff said the graffiti was “alarming”.
“There has been an alarming spike in anti-semitic incidents across Sydney in recent weeks, including a despicable spate of Nazi swastikas on Bondi beachfront,” he said.
“This funding commitment will help ensure the security and wellbeing of the Bondi community and is greatly appreciated.
Mr Sharma says the announcement would beef up security on the promenade.
“What has happened here recently is part of growing anti-semitism worldwide and the coalition has acted fast in committing to improve security on the Bondi promenade with enhanced CCTV,” Mr Sharma said.
“Recent acts of anti-Semitic vandalism have no place in our country. Their hatred and intolerance is intended to divide us. These enhanced security measures should act as a deterrent and allow law enforcement agencies to prosecute fully these crimes of hateful bigotry.”
His comments come after political sparring partner Kerryn Phelps also claimed more surveillance was needed last week.
“I am calling for CCTV to be installed so that we can monitor what happens on the foreshore to try to ensure that this doesn’t happen again,” Dr Phelps said.
Dr Phelps’ office has been contacted for further comment on the announcement.