The Tasmanian Parliament has expressed its condolences to the people of Lebanon after a shocking blast killed at least 178 people earlier this month.
About 6000 people were injured and 300,000 made homeless when ammonium nitrate being stored at the port of Beirut exploded on August 4.
Premier Peter Gutwein brought on the condolence motion during Parliament on Wednesday and it was unanimously supported by the lower house.
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“We need to remember as well this disaster has occurred against the backdrop of ongoing efforts to manage COVID-19,” Mr Gutwein said.
“I couldn’t believe it when I first saw it.”
Clark Labor MHA Ella Haddad, who has family living in Lebanon, said the tragedy had been felt by all Lebanese people in the country and abroad.
“My family counts itself incredibly lucky no one was injured or killed but some of my cousins had their homes destroyed and one of my cousins has a menswear shop which was destroyed, along with her home, which is devastating,” Ms Haddad said.
She said Lebanon had already been dealing with a financial crisis, political turmoil and COVID-19 before this disaster.
“This will be a recovery effort like none ever seen before,” she said.
Labor leader Rebecca White said the explosion, which was claimed to be the third most powerful in history after the atomic bombs dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II, had been catastrophic.
Greens leader Cassy O’Connor said to express her sincerest condolences was not a strong enough word.
“For people of Lebanese heritage anywhere in the world it must have been utterly, utterly devastating,” Ms O’Connor said.
Clark independent MHA Madeline Ogilvie said she hoped there would be an ongoing commitment to continuing Lebanon’s rich culture in Australia.