The board of the Sydney Pride Centre have announced an end-of-year financial loss of $47,000.

Co-convenor Chris Maynard told Sydney Star Observer that the loss was attributable to declining dance party attendances and rising costs for their public liability and professional indemnity insurance policies.

The Revolution dance parties, launched last year to create another revenue stream for PRIDE, would be put on hold, Maynard confirmed. While the first two Revolution parties got a good response, the third party lost about $10,000, he said.

However, PRIDE has already committed to its annual New Year’s Eve party, which netted $180,000 last year. Preliminary budgets for the 2002 party are based on ticket sales of between 6,200 and 6,800.

The New Year’s Eve party still makes a profit, but it’s getting tighter and tighter, Maynard said. The last party was hit with a price hike for public liability insurance from $5,000 to $25,000 and a similar jump in the cost of professional indemnity insurance (for the Mardi Gras medical team) from $2,000 to $10,000, he said.

The Pride board is anticipating that a public liability insurance policy for the forthcoming New Year’s Eve party could cost them as much as $45,000.

Maynard said several successful New Year’s parties in a row had left the organisation with substantial reserves which enabled them to meet losses of the past two years.

We have enough to carry us for a few more years yet, he said, but added that the board would be looking to find ways to reduce expenditure this year (although the New Year’s Eve party budget will not be changed). The board would take rental accommodation options back to the membership at the organisation’s annual general meeting in October, Maynard said.

Last week Pride announced that they were withdrawing their offer to act as a co-guarantor for the Mardi Gras overdraft because they could not be guaranteed, after the change in Mardi Gras financial situation, that their funds would not be used to pay off past debts.

The Pride board also said they were not prepared to produce this year’s Sleaze Ball under a licensing agreement with Mardi Gras.

Agreeing to produce this event would have meant exposing Pride to enormous risk and financial liability. The executive decided that Pride could not accept these risks, the board stated.

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