Coalition’s big plans for Mardi Gras

Coalition’s big plans for Mardi Gras

The NSW Coalition have made an unprecedented commitment to fund and support Mardi Gras as part of a push to double the number of tourists visiting NSW by 2020.

The announcement was made at a press conference at the New Mardi Gras (NMG) Workshop i

n Redfern.

Opposition Whip in the Legislative Council, Don Harwin, and the openly gay Liberal candidates for Sydney and Coogee presented a letter from the Leader of the Opposition, pledging to continue performance based funding to Mardi Gras as a major event; to exempt Mardi Gras from user pays fees; to continue assistance from government agencies like the Police, RTA and Ambulance Service; and to assist Mardi Gras in developing new ideas and events around the parade while allowing government organisations to participate in Mardi Gras events where they wished.

“This announcement is about the future of Mardi Gras under a Liberal-National Government if elected on March 26,” Harwin said, “You can be assured that the relationship with Mardi Gras will be the same sort of relationship that Mardi Gras had with the State Coalition Governments under Nick Greiner and John Fahey.”

Harwin recounted help the Greiner government had given Mardi Gras when the board administering the Sydney Showgrounds had tried to shut it out from the site.

“Our government stepped in to fix that with legislation, and you can be absolutely assured that a government lead by Barry O’Farrell will have the same close effective working relationship with Mardi Gras.”

As part of their wider tourism strategy, the Coalition have pledged to create a one stop shop for marketing NSW by combining the marketing functions of Events NSW and Tourism NSW in a single organization called Destination NSW which would be assisted by a taskforce in developing strategies, something which was praised by NMG CEO Michael Rolik.

“From practical experience from working with those Departments over the last couple of years, that initiative, if implemented by the new government would be so helpful for not only our event but other events as well because you’d be dealing with an organization with just one area of focus and all the resources and talent behind that,” Rolik said.

Rolik estimated that the funding under the new plan would be at least equal to what it received under the current Government.

NMG Steph Sands singled out the Liberals’ candidate for Sydney, Adrian Bartels, and candidate for Coogee, Bruce Notley-Smith, for assisting in brokering the commitment.

“We could not our events without the assistance and the resources of NSW Police, the Ambulance Service, RTA, Transport NSW and many others and these agencies can only help us because they have the support of their ministers and the government of the day,” said Sands.

“My thanks go to Adrian and Bruce for their role in making this happen.”

Pictured: Adrian Bartels

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One response to “Coalition’s big plans for Mardi Gras”

  1. I believe Bruce Notley-Smith is the Liberal Candidate for Coogee, not Randick, which he was Mayor of.