The NSW Government is under increasing pressure to commit resources and mandatory targets to its anti-homophobia strategy following demands from partners in the strategy and a well-received new Victorian campaign.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore labelled the interagency Working Together strategic framework “disappointing and frustrating” and accused it of offering no action for years.

The attack came a week after ACON president Adrian Lovney called for its speedy implementation to combat ongoing homophobic violence.

“No resources or specific targets are identified, simply an annual report to the Attorney-General’s Department,” Moore said.

“The plan claims that ‘safe learning environments’ are a priority for the Government, but only for public schools. There is no commitment to mandatory anti-homophobia education in all schools or to updating ageing resources.”

It was an “indictment” of the NSW Government that had taken so long to merely encourage agencies to think about the issue, she said.

Moore also questioned why legislative reforms were listed as a goal, but ignored anti-discrimination, adoption and relationship recognition.

The City of Sydney and ACON are both partners in the interagency framework, developed more than 12 months ago and released in November, under the auspices of the Attorney-General’s Department.

The Department will promote the strategy at Fair Day and invite agencies to discuss the implementation on 31 March.

The Attorney-General’s office could provide no details of what agencies intended to do at this stage. A report on progress will be prepared next year.

“The community has worked with activist attorneys-general in the past, like Jeff Shaw and Bob Debus, who have really focused on issues for our community. There’s a real need for the current Attorney-General to deliver in his areas too – it’s not just about the Police Minister,” Lovney told SSO.

It has been 10 years since the last government anti-homophobia initiative was implemented in NSW called Homophobia: What are you scared of?

Last week the Victorian Police began a year-long poster campaign titled Speak up! Homophobic violence isn’t funny, it’s criminal.

The campaign, launched to coincide with Melbourne’s Asia Pacific Outgames, was designed in partnership with community groups to promote safety and highlight the importance of reporting abuse.

“We are taking the issue of homophobic violence very seriously,” Sergeant Scott Davis from the Victorian Police Gay and Lesbian Advisory Unit said.

“We want people to speak up as it encourages others to do so and sends an important message to perpetrators that their actions will not be tolerated.

“More importantly, if victims speak up it may stop the perpetrator from doing the same thing to someone else.”

Have your say: Are you disappointed with the NSW Government’s lack of action?

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