A furore erupted when a white Ford Ranger displaying the NSW number plate 'OCT7TH' was spotted on Sydney roads, with the image quickly circulating on social media.
The plate, seemingly referencing the October 7 attacks perpetrated by Hamas, drew widespread condemnation.
Former Liberal candidate Freya Leach took to social media, questioning NSW Premier Chris Minns, "Seen in Western Sydney. @ChrisMinnsMP how is this allowed?"
Transport Minister John Graham swiftly responded, stating, "As soon as I heard about this, we issued an order for it to be recalled." He emphasised the urgency, saying, "Given the tensions around the world, I wasn’t happy with that. As roads minister, we’ve shortened that process, and the request is now that these plates are [recalled] in within 48 hours."
The controversy deepened when it was revealed that the plate had been registered in December 2023, after the attacks it seemingly referenced.
Australian Jewish Association CEO Robert Gregory expressed deep concern, calling it 'very concerning' and highlighting a surge in anti-Semitic incidents across Australia.
Transport for NSW issued an apology, stating, "We apologise the date was not flagged as offensive and for any subsequent offence and distress caused."
An investigation is underway to prevent similar incidents in the future.