CITY of Sydney mayor hopeful, Linda Scott, has vowed to create an LGBTI specific museum at the rundown T2 building at Taylor Square if she wins the upcoming council elections.

The Labor Party’s Scott has promised to use some of the city’s $63 million surplus to transform the iconic building into a centre dedicated to LGBTI history.

“Sydney’s history is the home of so much of Australia’s LGBTIQ history and stories, from the first Mardi Gras through to our giant rainbow flag in Taylor Square,” she told Star Observer.

“It’s an area that’s very iconic… this building should be kept in public hands, saved and converted into a LGBTIQ museum. Significant materials exist now that could be of use for a museum for the community.”

Much debate has occurred about what to do with the two-storey building after the nightclub it housed, Manacle, was closed down in 2009 for being a long-term centre of violence and anti-social behaviour in the area.

Sydney city councillor Angela Vithoulkas first proposed the idea of a Mardi Gras museum being constructed in the building, while long-serving mayor Clover Moore had advocated for a bicycle hub to be developed at T2.

In March, the majority of council voted to put out an Expression of Interest (EOI) on the T2 building for buyers interested in developing the site after Moore abandoned plans to build the bike hub.

“The city has left the building vacant for many years and the lack of investment meant it’s in a very poor state,” Scott said.

“Labor would commit to funding it, and converting into a museum. I’m open to the idea of whether it’s community run or run by the council.”

Scott passed a council motion in 2014 for the council to begin storing and documenting artefacts of Sydney’s LGBTI community, which according to the councillor means “the groundwork has been laid” to establish a museum at T2.

Other LGBTI policy platforms Scott is promoting ahead of the September elections is to distribute a ‘rainbow families kit’ to parents, schools, child care centres, health care providers and other service providers.

“It’s important to make sure when someone’s daughter goes to enrol in school there is a form that doesn’t have space that just identifies male and female parents,” she said.

“It is important to make a difference for rainbow families and be a leader and make sure information is available for service providers to make sure they’re doing the right thing to be inclusive.”

The City of Sydney council election will be held on Saturday September 10.


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