A rainbow pathway in Newtown may be just around the corner, after a motion to begin plans for a new pathway in time for next year’s Sydney WorldPride event was carried unanimously by Inner West Council last week.

The motion, which was moved by Independent Pauline Lockie and seconded by the Greens Liz Atkins, noted that installing a rainbow crossing in Newtown would be “a visible sign of pride and support for our LGBTQ community”.

“Symbols representing our community make it clear that queer people are welcome in our community and, are in fact, to be celebrated,” Cr Atkins told Star Observer when asked about the significance of installing the new rainbow pathway.

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“That’s important, particularly for young people to see, at least in this part of Sydney, that it’s ok to be out.”

Transport for NSW Refused To Endorse Rainbow Crossing

Cr Pauline Lockie

This follows a previously resolved motion by council in December 2019, where prospects for a rainbow crossing at the intersection of King Street and Enmore Road in Newtown were being investigated.

Although the motion was then approved by councillors, an installation required the approval of Transport for NSW, who “advised Council that it would not support a rainbow crossing in this location and is also unlikely to approve other locations for on-road rainbow crossings”.

“That’s quite a complicated intersection anyway, there are multiple sets of lights; multiple crossing points; emergency access points; a train station there”, Cr Lockie told City Hub.

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“What I didn’t want to do was miss our opportunity to have that in place in time for WorldPride next year, and also, bearing in mind that we are having ongoing discussions of opening a Pride Centre in Newtown Town Hall, it makes sense to do all that planning together.”

A Pride Square For Newtown

Alternative options suggested in the motion included lighting one of the pathways in Camperdown Memorial Rest Park with rainbow lights, painting one of the existing pathways in the park in rainbow colours, and painting a rainbow pathway outside Newtown Town Hall.

Two amendments were moved by Cr Mat Howard, who called on council to “submit a request to the Geographical Names Board to rename the public square outside Newtown Town Hall ‘Pride Square’ in advance of Sydney World Pride”, and that the council establish a WorldPride Committee for a year, which will be chaired by Deputy Mayor Jessica D’Arienzo, and also include Crs Lockie and Atkins, two LGBTQ Working Group representatives and other relevant members of staff.

“This will further centre Newtown and the Inner West as the beating heart of Sydney and Australia’s LGBTQ+ community,” Cr Howard said.

“February 2023 will be here in a flash, and I want to make sure that we are planned, prepared, and that we deliver rainbow connections for our community,” Cr D’Arienzo explained further.

Last year, a rainbow path was unveiled in Prince Alfred Park in Sydney on Tuesday to commemorate legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia.

 

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