Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

(Community Recognition Statement, 5 March 2014, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)

I commend organisers, volunteers, police and all the participants involved in this year's Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras celebrations.

They were as diverse as they were inspiring. I acknowledge Mardi Gras Chief Executive Officer Michael Rollick and his staff, co-chairs Siri Kommedahl and Paul Savage, and the entire Mardi Gras board for their hard work and commitment. Surry Hills Local Area Commander Tony Crandall worked tirelessly with the police and various community organisations, including the Inner City Legal Centre, the New South Wales Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, ACON, and me to ensure policing practices were an improvement on previous years. I also acknowledge the Premier and the Minister for Police and Emergency Services for their support.

This year I brought Mardi Gras to the Parliament of New South Wales when I hosted an event that raised needed funds for community organisations. Last Friday I brought lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community leaders together for a roundtable discussion with the United States Ambassador to Australia John Berry, Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson, and members of Parliament from all parties, including visiting New Zealand politician Louisa Wall. We committed to work together to progress important lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex reform in Australia and the region.

Let's work together to celebrate and protect our great city!