Victorian ALP ministers have pledged to support a range of gay and lesbian community organisations and events if they are returned to power in Saturday’s state election.

Arts minister Mary Delahunty, who is retiring, announced a $160,000 funding package for the Midsumma festival, payable over three years.

And Health minister Bronwyn Pike pledged a quarter of a million dollars towards gay and lesbian radio station JOY Melbourne’s relocation appeal.

Midsumma spokesperson Glyn Cryer said after several years of project-based support from the state government, the cash promise was a real breakthrough for Midsumma.

Pike rejected claims from The Greens the money for Midsumma and JOY were pre-election stunts.

I’ve had a long-term connection with the community and people know this is not about the election, it’s about doing the right thing, she said.

The minister said she had demonstrated her commitment previously by securing $1m a year in funding for Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria.

Polls have indicated The Greens will make a strong showing in Saturday’s election, putting at least two Labor ministers in danger, Pike in Melbourne and cabinet secretary Richard Wynne in Richmond.

Greens spokesperson Dinesh Matthew accused Labor of spreading misinformation about The Greens’ preference deals.

The Greens have not preferenced the Liberals, Matthew said. In most seats we’re preferencing Labor. In about a dozen we’re asking voters to vote Green first and then make up their own minds about who to place second, he said.

-” Melbourne Star

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