Candidates pledge support to Mardi Gras museum
SYDNEY: A proposed Mardi Gras museum and workshop at a key site on Oxford Street has received the support of lord mayoral candidates contesting the City of Sydney local government elections.
City of Sydney earlier this year committed to providing Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) with an exhibition space on Oxford Street for a temporary museum to mark the 35th anniversary of the Sydney Mardi Gras however SGLMG has earmarked the site of the former T2 nightclub at Taylor Square as a potential home for a permanent museum.
The plan has received support from all leading lord mayoral candidates contesting the election on September 8, with incumbent Lord Mayor Clover Moore signalling she too would reconsider a prior commitment to redevelop the T2 site into a bicycle hub. The building was bought by Council in 2010 for a reported $5.5 million following a string of homophobic and unsavoury incidents linked to the former nightclub.
“We have not yet determined the specific permanent uses and we will consult before making a decision,” Moore said.
“The building is due to be under construction for restoration and refit prior to March 2013.”
Labor’s lord mayoral candidate Linda Scott has already promised additional funding for the proposed museum.
“If elected as Lord Mayor I also recognise that establishing the museum will require considerable resources and to this end, I have committed to providing a one-off, $1 million grant of cash and in-kind assistance, to make the museum a reality,” Scott said.
Greens candidate Irene Doutney said she would support the projecrt as well as work with Mardi Gras to find an appropriate site to become a permanent workshop space.
“We think this is an excellent initiative to serve the LGBTIQ community throughout the year and to showcase Sydney’s proud history of activism and community engagement,” Doutney said.
“The Greens are committed to working with SGLMG to secure a suitable space is made available for a permanent workshop. We will pursue the use of large empty properties such as Rosebery Depot.”
Liberal Party candidate Edward Mandla said he would “fully support” the provision of a space for a permanent workshop as an in-kind contribution at no cost to Mardi Gras while he also supported the use of the T2 site as a permanent Mardi Gras museum pending a review of a business plan.
The newly formed Living Sydney party meanwhile would support the museum plans for the T2 site as well as providing a suitable venue for a workshop for only $10 rent per year.
“We believe that such a decision will give Sydney Mardi Gras and the LGBTQI community the opportunity to develop independence without interference,” Living Sydney candidate Angela Vithoulkas said.
SGLMG chair Peter Urmson said it was pleasing to see all candidates recognised the social, cultural and historical significance of Sydney Mardi Gras.
“We are pleased with the broad commitments received ... Particularly commitments for the T2 site as a Mardi Gras Museum, a permanent workshop, and sustainable funding,” he added.