Victorian Premier Denis Napthine on Friday paid his first-ever visit to a gurdwara here and acknowledged the growing role and contributions made by the Punjabi community in the key Australian state.
Wearing a headgear as mark of respect in the Blackburn Gurdwara, Napthine walked across the premises along with his multicultural affairs minister Matthew Guy and Amita Gill, the first Sikh woman to stand for the state polls as a Liberal Party candidate.
"Sikh community is a strong and growing community like the Indian community," Liberal leader Napthine said.
"We welcome the growth from Sikh and Indian community in Victoria. We have recently released our next generation of multicultural policies and it is very carefully named as 'Victoria's advantage'," he told the group of Sikh community members.
"This report is to identify that we believe that our diverse and harmonious cultural and multi-faith community is not just wonderful only in terms of multiculturalism but also is an advantage for the state.
"We say it is Victoria's greatest strengths and opportunity. It will help our economy and quality of life grow," he said.
Napthine also expressed his delight on Gill's inclusion as a Liberal candidate to fight the next state elections scheduled in November this year.
He was given a long tour of the temple by the gurdwara committee members who explained to him about various sections of the temple, including the Prayer Hall where Napthine bowed his head.
Ahead of the gurdwara visit, Napthine had visited an Islamic Mosque and was to also visit a Hare Krishna temple here.