SYDNEY Lord Mayor Clover Moore has reiterated her support for Sydney’s LGBTI community and indicated it was her goal to see the creation of a permanent LGBTI museum for the city.

In a statement to the Star Observer about the former T2 nightclub building at Taylor Square and the competing cycling hub and LGBTI cultural centre proposals for the venue, a spokesperson for the Lord Mayor said: “The city has a strong track record of support for creative and cultural initiatives, venues, festivals in Sydney. The Lord Mayor has said numerous times that if a viable community proposal was developed for (a) GLBTI museum, (that) she would support it and help lobby the community and other levels of government for support.”

The statement also reiterated that Cr Christine’s Forster’s motion proposed that council establish, maintain and staff the permanent LGBTI “exhibition space/museum and cultural/community centre”.

“The Lord Mayor believes a GLBTI museum should be initiated and run by the community, and not the City of Sydney,” the Lord Mayor’s spokesperson said.

The spokesperson then detailed plans to reinvigorate the level of opportunities and culture present within the LGBTI community in the Sydney council area, while also renewing the Oxford St precinct as a whole.

According to the Lord Mayor’s spokesperson, the T2 cycling hub project has been “designed to boost the health and economic vitality of the area,” while also helping to ensure that the “whole area (is) safer during the day time” due to the increased community interactivity that would ensue as a result of the proposed project.

Citing information from the 2013 National Cycling Participation Study, the Lord Mayor’s office stated that over 19 per cent of council residents had ridden a bicycle over the course of the past week, with that number rising to over 26 per cent each month.

However, in a recent opinion piece Cr Forster stated that those outside of the Lord Mayor’s coalition of independent councillors believed that similar safety and engagement outcomes could be achieved by promoting LGBTI culture in the T2 building rather than bicycles.

“As Clover Moore acknowledges, a GLBTI museum could be a major asset and tourist drawcard,” Cr Fortser wrote.

“But it could also be part of our community’s push for progress on the things that really matter. It would document the tragedies and celebrate the achievements of the past. It would promote diversity, equality, inclusion and community.”

While the debate surrounding the T2 building continues, other bipartisan initiatives and projects from council show that Sydney’s LGBTI community has a sustainable future going forward.

According to information requested by the Star Observer from Sydney Council via the Lord Mayor’s office, over $24.3 million has either been spent on or earmarked for public infrastructure projects within the Oxford St precinct since the last council election.

The information also stated that council as a whole had spent over $800,000 on grants to organisations such as Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir, ACON and the Gender Centre and more in the past two financial years, and that this was in addition to the $45 million they have spent on the Oxford St shopping district in the past six years.

 

 

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