NSW Labor has committed $4.2 million in funding to match the NSW Liberal Party plan to fund and establish an LGBTIQ+ health centre in New South Wales in partnership with ACON.
The announcement comes ahead of the state election later this month, with Labor committing to establish the NSW Pride Health and Community Centre in Sydney’s inner west.
The Berejiklian government last week pledged $3.5 million towards the health centre project.
“ACON welcomes this commitment from NSW Labor, which will see the establishment of a much-needed centre that will help in improving the health and wellbeing of our communities,” said ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill.
“LGBTIQ people experience significant disparities in many areas of health compared to the general population.
“And we know that for many LGBTI people, accessing critical health services can be a challenging and difficult process with barriers such as discrimination, stigma, fear of ‘coming out’ or refusal of service.
“With this health and community centre, we aim to provide a facility where LGBTIQ people can feel safe, understood and included as they seek health care.
“The establishment of a multi-disciplinary, community-driven health service will help address significant gaps in health service delivery for LGBTIQ people and their families,” Parkhill said.
Though the proposed site for the centre will be in the Inner West Local Government Area, it will function as a statewide hub providing support to clients and other healthcare providers intrastate.
“[The inner west] is a part of Sydney that is very diverse and as such, LGBTIQ people can feel safe to access services in the area,” Parkhill said.
“This is reinforced by the fact that the area is among the highest in the state that returned a ‘yes’ vote during last year’s postal survey on equal marriage reform.
“The Inner West is also an important transport hub which will help facilitate people from outside of this area of Sydney to access this service.
“Our vision is for an accessible and inclusive health and community centre that understands and responds to the needs of LGBTIQ people and their families across NSW.
“To strengthen the health and wellbeing of our communities, it is vital we are able to access a statewide health service that provides appropriate and tailored care, and records important data that will inform the development of future health programs and services.
“We sincerely thank NSW Labor for their support for the centre, and look forward to working with Inner West Council and a wide range of partners to see this vision realised.”
Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne welcomed the announcement, saying, “The Inner West has been the spiritual home of the LGBTIQ community for many decades.”
“Establishing a Pride Centre here will make sure the community has a permanent place in the Inner West into the future.”
The NSW state election will be held on Saturday March 23.