The ATMs, dubbed as “GAYTMs” by owner ANZ, had received a Mardi Gras makeover featuring candy stripes and bright red lips made from colourful rhinestones, sequins and fun fur.
Last night night, both ATMs – which were located right next to LGBTI-friendly bar the Midnight Shift, had their colourful coverings forcibly ripped from them and dumped on the footpath.
Police have confirmed they received reports of two men vandalising the machines with a metal bar at about 8pm on March 9.
NSW Police corporate spokesperson for LGBTI people Superintendent Tony Crandell said an investigation was currently underway into the motive behind “what may be a bias-related, albeit senseless attack”.
“The investigation remains in its early stages, with detectives now reviewing CCTV footage from a number of sources in the area and interviewing potential witnesses,” he said.
“If this damage was designed to somehow hurt the spirit of Sydney’s LGBTIQ community, those responsible have simply underestimated the degree of community pride and resilience recently celebrated at Mardi Gras.”
ANZ, who are the principal sponsorship partner of Mardi Gras, said clean up crews were dispatched as soon as they learned of the vandalism.
“We were disappointed that two of our GAYTMs were vandalised over the weekend, particularly considering the positive feedback the campaign received as a way to celebrate inclusion and diversity during the Sydney Mardi Gras Festival,” the bank’s spokesperson said.
ANZ spruced up 10 of its ATMs for Mardi Gras with all operator fees for non-ANZ cardholders going to youth support organisation Twenty10.
Located in the Sydney CBD, Surry Hills and Bondi Junction, the machines also printed rainbow-coloured receipts.
The remaining eight machines will have their Mardi Gras masks removed tonight (March 10) “as originally planned”, according to ANZ.
Police are urging anyone with information about this incident to contact Crime Stoppers
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