IMPORTANT documents and artefacts, crucial to the history of Sydney’s LGBTI community could be “lost forever” says a Sydney councillor, unless a permanent archive is established.

Cr Linda Scott will take a motion to tonight’s council meeting calling on the council to support the creation of a storage space for items that could form the basis of a future museum.

While the archive space would not provide the same level of public access as a museum, it could be used as a resource for temporary exhibitions.

Talking to the Star Observer, Scott said the recent passing of celebrated LGBTI rights activist Lex Watson highlighted the need to urgently preserve the memories and objects of community members.

“Sadly, as these activists downsize their houses, some of these items will be lost forever and I believe the Council should actively support the preservation of these artefacts and maintain a rich collection of Sydney’s [LGBTI] history for future generations,” she said.

“I know many [LGBTI] activists, including the original 78ers, who have significant personal collections of memorabilia that could one day form the foundation of a [LGBTI] museum in Sydney,” Scott said.

The move follows the defeat in March of a proposal by Cr Christine Forster for council to look at the business case for citing a permanent LGBTI museum at one of its street-front properties.

A coalition of independents, including Lord Mayor Clover Moore, formed a voting bloc that refused to allow either further research into Forster’s museum proposal or produce a potential business plan for council to consider going forward.

Forster confirmed to the Star Observer she would be seconding Scott’s motion: “An archive space could offer an opportunity for [community groups] to bring collections together for storage and recording, as a pre-cursor to the setting up of a permanent exhibition.

In the meanwhile, I plan to continue to push Council to acknowledge and act upon the strong community support for [an LGBTI] museum, which is the ultimate goal,” Forster said.

Council had “significant historical and curatorial expertise,” said Scott, which it could bring to the preservation of items.

The office of the Lord Mayor would not comment prior to the meeting.

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