Saturday week’s Mardi Gras parade starting point has been moved, amid safety concerns in Hyde Park.

Reacting to the concerns of NSW Police, New Mardi Gras has moved the starting point to Whitlam Square, at the corner of Elizabeth and Liverpool Sts.

To compensate, the parade route at the other end will be lengthened, to assure there is as much viewing space.

It is a trial which organisers hope may prevent a repeat of last year when drunken youths clashed with police in the park after the parade.

“New Mardi Gras supports keeping Mardi Gras night safe for all concerned,” NMG CEO Michael Rolik said.

“There are advantages in being able to lengthen the parade route at its end, allowing more room for spectators and better integration with the parade carnival, which takes place straight after the parade.”

The start area will now take up part of Commonwealth St, Clarke St, Nithsdale St, Alberta St, Goulburn St, and parts of Wentworth Ave.

Residents of these streets were invited to a February 16 meeting with organisers to discuss impacts upon them.

info: For more information visit www.mardigras.org.au/parade. For a full list of road closures visit

http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/newsevents/mardi_gras_parade_2010_road_closures.html

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