Council offers thoughts, prayers,condolences

REFLECTING on those killed and injured in the massive explosion in Lebanon’s capital city, Beirut earlier in the day, Councillors and staff stood for a minute of silence at Wednesday night’s Cumberland Council meeting.

Deputy Mayor Eddy Sarkis said thousands of people were impacted by the destructive blast which also damaged thousands of homes across the city.
“And its not across just just one denomination of the Lebanese, it is not just the Christians or just the Muslims. It’s across the board. All Lebanese have suffered in the last 24 hours,” he said.
“And the devastation that is to follow in the coming weeks is going to be enormous, and I’d ask this council just take a moment and reflect on that.”
Quoting NSW Police Minister David Elliott, Cr Sarkis said the disaster was “a tragic reminder of the fragility of life” and reminding the community that “Lebanese migration has given so much to Australia, including our first female Governor”.
In an earlier statement, Mayor Steve Christou told the Review “our thoughts, prayers and condolences are with those who have been affected by this tragedy”.
“Around 11 per cent of our population identifies as Lebanese and undoubtedly will have friends and family living in Beirut”, he said.
“In times of crisis we band together and we will get through this.”
Confirming that one Australian had been killed, Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator Marise Payne said with more than 230,000 Australians having Lebanese heritage, the tragedy will affect “many people in both countries”.
She said the Federal Government will donate $1 million each to the World Food Programme and the Red Cross movement, and anyone concerned about friends and family in Lebanon should call 1300 555 135.