New Mardi Gras will not act on community calls to stop NSW Police marching in next year’s parade.
Following public outcry over the police presence at Sleaze Ball last month, community members wrote to Sydney Star Observer calling for police to be banned from marching in the parade.
“We would prefer to enter into a constructive dialogue with police in the first instance before taking this into consideration,” NMG co-chair Steph Sands said.
She said NMG had raised community concerns over police handling of the night with Surry Hills Police Supt Donna Adney.
“Police have listened to our concerns but will of course continue their drug operations,” Sands said.
“We have requested more consultation and meaningful dialogue with them about how to minimise the impact of their operations on the amenity of our events, particularly at the entry areas, and have informed them of our intentions with regard to ongoing community consultation, and adding our voice to the overall debate and concerns across the whole community about the extent of police drug operations and how they are conducted.”
Sands said NMG’s control over the situation was minimal, but steps would be taken to reduce the effect on patrons next year.
“It is not within NMG’s power to dictate what kind of presence the police have at our events. We are in the same situation as other promoters,” Sands said.
“What we can do is: establish a more thorough consultation process with the police prior to our future events; review our entry area operations and proceedures to ensure we can better manage this kind of police presence; inform our patrons more effectively; and lobby and consult with other event producers and our own community organisations.”
Supt Adney was contacted, but declined to comment.
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