The Hon. Mark Buttigieg MLC, former union official and Labor Member of the Legislative Council in New South Wales Parliament, addressed parliament yesterday in an attempt to convince Gladys Berejiklian and the NSW Government to project a Greek flag onto the Opera House on 25 March 2021, to commemorate Greek Independence Day.
He made the point that whilst the government has previously approved the Opera House to be lit up with advertisements for gambling and for the Sydney landmark to be swathed in green light to signifiy St Patrick's Day just yesterday, the government has refused a request by the Honourable Courtney Houssos to allow a Greek flag to be projected onto the Sydney Opera House in honour of Greek Independence Day on March 25, 2021.
On his Facebook page yesterday Mark Buttigieg MLC states; "Today in Parliament - I pointed out the Berejiklian government’s rank hypocrisy - it’s fine to project adverts for gambling onto the Opera House but not the Greek in recognition of Greek Independence Day!
The Berejiklian Government should respect the wonderful people with Greek heritage that live in our state!"
The Hon. Mark Buttigieg pointed out in his address the other events and celebrations that the government has previously approved to be projected onto the Sydney Opera House including The Everest Horse Races, the Rugby League Wallabies and the French National flag, saying that, "when the Greeks want to put a flag up to celebrate their National Day and the very founding of the democracy that we supposedly celebrate" the request has not been looked into adequately.
The Hon. Mark Buttigieg called this,"an insult, a slap in the face to the Greek people and a slap in the face to our democracy."
Greeks are the seventh largest ethnic group in Australia, with the number of Greeks and Cypriots in Australia collectively totalling 422,234 people.
Greek immigration to Australia has been one of the largest migratory flows in the history of Australia, especially after World War II and Greek Civil War.