Local venues have vowed to protect their patrons from homophobic violence and harassment this Mardi Gras.
Bouncers will be able to provide instant assistance to anyone targeted by homophobic violence, via a radio link-up stretching the length of Oxford St going directly into a police command in the City of Sydney’s CCTV control room.
Eighteen venues have signed up to the system: Arq, Kinselas, the Courthouse, the Oxford, Stonewall, Havanna, Nevermind, the Colombian, the Brighton, the Midnight Shift, the Gaff, the Oxford St Art Factory, the Exchange, Slide, the Burdekin, Ruby Rabbit, the Beresford and the Beauchamp.
There are only about three venues that aren’t on it, but we have indications that we could have up to 20 venues signed up by Saturday night, Stonewall owner Craig Bell told Sydney Star Observer.
Basically, if you’re having any trouble on the night, you’re going to be able to go up to any bouncer and get help.
It’s certainly going to help us as well because now, if we turn someone away then we’ll be able to radio into the command post and let other venues down the strip know. It’s certainly going to help us to keep the bad element out of the venues so that everyone inside will be guaranteed a safe environment.