The Pride Centre, Mardi Gras and the Iris Group are all quietly confident that their bid to run the Harbour Party 2003 will be successful. They hope that a decision will be made by the Botanical Gardens Trust within the week.

Chris Maynard from the Sydney Pride Centre, who presented Pride’s submission with co-president Lou-Anne Lind on Monday, said that they had been told to expect a decision within the week. I think we have the infrastructure and past history to put on a party of this size, Lind told the Star. When Pride prepared a budget at the request of the Gardens, it became apparent that revenues from this event may not be as great as expected, but from Pride’s point of view, it will be a significant boost to our finances and for the community groups we support.

The Iris Group’s bid has the exclusive support of the Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby, the Gay & Lesbian Counselling Service and youth community organisation Twenty 10. Iris Group spokesperson Patrick Guerrera told the Star that while the Group proposed to engage professional sub-contractors to produce the party, its management would be undertaken by a team of volunteers.

Guerrera said members of the consortium (Jay Myers, Glen Phillips, Katrina Marton and Michael Cummings) had backgrounds in marketing, media and party organisation. We think it’s essential that diversity is preserved and that major parties are not monopolised by just one or two organisations.

Profits raised by the party would go back to community groups, Guerrera stressed. It [the Iris Group’s proposal] is not a commercial venture and there is no commercial return for anyone involved.

Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby co-convenor Alex Sosnov said the Lobby depended upon the Harbour Party for almost 70 percent of its annual revenue. We fully and exclusively support the Iris proposal and urge the Gardens to approve [it] so that we can maintain our funding and continue our work as an independent lobby organisation, she said.

Kelly Gardiner, CEO of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, said that they were extremely pleased to go through to this final stage and hoped they would be successful. We have a very -˜transparent’ policy, she said, which means that it is clear exactly where the money goes. Insofar as funds allocation goes, our policy is that we’re committed to public development and to the community in general.

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