Mardi Gras, Police, Premier sign new Mardi Gras Festival Accord
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has signed a new agreement between Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and NSW Police that is aimed ensuring a safe and welcoming experience for all participants and spectators at Mardi Gras events this year.
Called the Mardi Gras Festival Accord, key components include Mardi Gras and the police jointly planing to ensure a consistent approach to policing that is appropriate to the scale, risk, cultural sensitivities and visitation outcomes of the Mardi Gras Festival, the removal of temporary street barriers immediately after the Parade finishes, promote awareness and education on laws regarding alcohol and illegal drug use, and more.
The accord also reflected the need for briefings and cultural sensitivity training for police officers, especially for those from local area commands outside of Surry Hills.
It also recognises the economic impact that Mardi Gras has on Sydney and as one of NSW’s most significant events in terms of visitation and economic return.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras have welcomed the decision.
“The community and visitors should feel confident that this announcement signifies a commitment that Mardi Gras, the police and all agencies will work together to ensure that participants and visitors are well looked after, and made to feel safe and protected, and treated fairly and equitably,” the organisation stated in a press release.
For more information about Mardi Gras’ jam-packed calendar of summer events, head to www.mardigras.org.au
(Picture: Surry Hills Police LGBTI liaison officer Tony Crandell, Mardi Gras CEO Michael Rolik, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell, Mardi Gras Co-Chair Siri Kommedahl sign the Mardi Gras Festival Accord. Photo: Ann-Marie Calilhanna)