Sydney Council resolved to fly the flag following an approach by Liberal councillor Christine Forster, who has been pushing for an LGBTI marker in the area since the removal of the rainbow crossing at Taylor Square after the 2013 Mardi Gras. Forster’s motion was passed less than a week before the Mardi Gras parade.
“The rainbow motif is a recognised and potent symbol,” Forster said after the decision.
“This is something we can do while the artwork is being developed.”
Last month Lord Mayor Clover Moore announced that a permanent public artwork will be installed in 2018 to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Mardi Gras and to commemorate the past and present efforts of the local LGBTI population.
In response to Moore’s decision, Forster and Labor councillor Linda Scott released a rare joint media statement critical of Moore’s motivations and the wait the community has had to endure.
“Whatever the monument is, we publicly call on the Lord Mayor to give its importance back to the community,” the pair stated on February 7.
“When it is opened, there should be no speeches by politicians and no plaques. Instead we ask that a member of the 78ers, those who first marched in Mardi Gras open the monument and present it to the community. It’s about the community, not about politicians.”
A few weeks ago, Forster told the Star Observer that there was already an appetite among residents for a rainbow flag.
“In May 2013 after the removal of the crossing we both, separately, presented motions to the Council asking for the erection of a permanent monument to the LGBTI community,” she said at the time.
“At that meeting we were joined by about 150 community members, chalking the steps of the council building with a rainbow and a simple message ‘all we want is a rainbow flag’.”
It is expected council will reappropriate the flag currently flying over Town Hall to celebrate Mardi Gras for its use in Taylor Square.
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