LABOR’S candidate for the Sydney electorate in tomorrow’s NSW state election has said the city’s Mardi Gras should relocate part of its festival to western Sydney to help change attitudes towards people outside of the inner city.
Edwina Lloyd, a criminal lawyer, also said she would spearhead a campaign aimed at revitalising the Oxford St precinct.
Despite Labor being tipped to make gains across NSW on Saturday, the party is predicted to struggle against the Liberals and sitting independent MP Alex Greenwich in the LGBTI-centric electorate of Sydney.
According the analysis by the ABC, based on the 2011 result Labor – which didn’t contest the 2012 by-election that saw Greenwich elected – could even end up in fourth place behind the Greens.
However, Lloyd said she was unfazed by the projection.
“I’m in it to win it,” she told the Star Observer.
“I have received emails from Liberal voters and independent voters who are dissatisfied and have decided to vote for Labor this election.
“We’ve gained a lot of ground and as they say, every underdog has her day and Saturday might just be ours.”
Like all Sydney candidates, Lloyd supports marriage equality but she said if further LGBTI rights were to get over the line residents from outside “the city bubble” need to be engaged.
“The way to progress the marriage equality agenda is by appealing to the hearts and minds of people in the outer suburban and regional areas, where support for marriage equality is at its weakest,” she said.
“I would like to… see if we can stage a satellite Mardi Gras event in western Sydney.”
While Lloyd didn’t spell out whether this would involve moving a current Mardi Gras activity or creating a new event entirely, one idea was to stage a stripped-down parade through the streets of a western hub such as Parramatta.
Alongside her support for Taylor Square’s giant rainbow flag, Lloyd has also produced a regeneration plan for Oxford St – called Sparkle Sydney – which calls for collaboration between local and state governments and advertising on trains and buses.
The Greens’ Chris Brentin conceded to the Star Observer that he only had an outside chance of winning Sydney.
“I’m not just doing this to win – I agree with the Greens’ policies, I’ve managed to run a good campaign and I feel there is no greater honour,” he said.
Asked if it was a struggle standing against both independent and Labor candidates, Brentin said his party had a clear point of difference: “The Greens are a far more progressive party than Labor who are only progressive after we’ve tied their hands and brought them over kicking and screaming.”
Brentin added that unlike an independent member, “the Greens have representation at local, state and federal level and a party behind you so you’ve got that critical mass”.
A psychologist with practices in Leichhardt and Liverpool, Brentin said the Greens were committed to changing clauses in the current Anti-Discrimination Act which allow religious schools and other bodies to bar LGBTI people.
“The Greens will not stop until all the exemption are removed,” he said.
If elected, Pendeleos said she wanted to be a voice for the environment, animal welfare and equality in a Liberal government.
Greenwich said he was beholden only to his constituents, not to party whips, and would look to amend the Anti-Discrimination Act and end the requirement of trans* people to divorce if they undergo transition when they are already married.