A rainbow arch over Taylor Square, a three-storey hanging rainbow, and a statue of a “rainbow god” are among some of the ideas being considered by the City of Sydney as it seeks to install a permanent symbol to recognise the contribution of the local LGBTI community to the history of Oxford Street and surrounds.
The search for an appropriate lasting reminder of the area’s history continues almost six months after Roads Minister Duncan Gay directed the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) autority to rip up a popular rainbow crossing the Council had created at Taylor Square, which it – and many others in the local community – hoped would be made permanent.
Other suggestions under consideration by Council after being mooted at a community forum on July 16 include; a rainbow fountain with bubbles on the hour, a giant flag that lights up at night and a multicolour voltaic floor that creates a rainbow as people walk across it.
At a Council meeting on Monday night, Lord Mayor Clover Moore directed the Council’s CEO to liaise with her office to assess the feasibility of the suggestions made by community members. An amendment moved by Labor Councillor Linda Scott and passed by other councillors, however, has ensured all councillors will partake in the process.
“The many creative and innovative ideas suggested at the Forum and online confirm the view that the community is looking for something beyond a rainbow flag,” Moore said.
“The preferred ideas may require further development, including the involvement of artists to ensure that the outcome meets the community’s aspirations.”
Scott told the Star Observer that with Mardi Gras also recently deciding to not use the vacant T2 space at Taylor Square as a museum, it was time for permanency over piece-meal solutions.
“Whatever Mardi Gras wants to do I respect but this is about more than that. This is about having the stories of the LGBTI community told in some permanent form,” Scott said.
“The critical thing is that we have an enduring symbol that can help people universally understand the history of the area.”