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Thursday, 1 March 2018
Page: 2488

Ms OWENS (Parramatta) (13:40): Earlier last month I attended one of my favourite events the year, the Halal Expo at Rosehill Gardens. The Halal Expo has been running for four years now; I've attended each year. It's the only halal trade show and international halal conference in Australia. This year academics, religious leaders and small business owners travelled from all over the world to be involved in the event. There were over 150 local, interstate and international stalls and over 20,000 visitors. The shopping and the company were great, and I replenished my stocks of black seed soap, camel milk feta cheese, South Indian chutneys and pickles, halal lipsticks—which means no animal products—and modest clothing, which I sometimes like to wear.

An opposition member: Or not!

Ms OWENS: Or not—that's true! The conference was also a real opportunity for local and overseas players in the halal industry to meet and share knowledge and resources and to develop really important trade relationships in a fast-growing region of the world and in a very fast-growing sector across the world. It was also a chance for non-Muslim Australians to get a deeper understanding of halal practices and lifestyles. There are over 600,000 Muslims in Australia, but there is still a lack of understanding of halal. Events like the expo are a wonderful way of creating a greater sense of understanding of halal practices. I thank the director of the Halal Expo, Mr Syed Atiq ul Hassan, who works incredibly hard to present this event every year. I look forward to his next event, the Chand Raat Eid Festival on 14 June.