07 August 2019
(Private Members' Statement, 1 August 2019, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)
I speak in support of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras bid to host WorldPride in 2023. As many members would know, Mardi Gras is a major tourism and cultural event for Sydney which attracts tens of thousands of visitors and raises tens of millions of dollars across our city. Should we host WorldPride in 2023, the Mardi Gras would be supercharged, with more money for local businesses and, indeed, more visitors across our great city. WorldPride is a massive LGBTIQ event of festivals, parades, activities and conferences that celebrates the achievements of past heroes who have helped produce reforms and the rich cultural diversity of LGBTIQ communities. It puts a focus on reforms needed to advance equality and remove discrimination across the world.
I was fortunate enough to attend the recently held WorldPride in New York, which commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall riots of 1969, where tensions between police and gay residents erupted following a raid on the Stonewall Inn where officers lost control. From this came an activist movement that spread across the world. It was one of the contributing factors to the origins of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. WorldPride was hosted in Rome in 2000, Jerusalem in 2006, London in 2012, Toronto in 2014, Madrid in 2017 and, as I have already mentioned, New York City in 2019. In 2021 it will be held in Copenhagen. Sydney's bid for WorldPride is supported by all levels of government. The Federal Government and the Federal tourism Minister have supported the bid. I am proud to say the State Government has also supported the bid and our Lord Mayor and the City of Sydney are strong supporters of Sydney's bid for WorldPride in 2023.
As the member for Sydney I am hopeful that a successful bid for WorldPride 2023 will allow us the opportunity to showcase our city and what will have been achieved by that point. There has been a massive investment in the arts in Sydney. I pay tribute to the work done by the Minister for the Public Service and Employee Relations, Aboriginal Affairs, and the Arts, the Hon. Don Harwin, in this space. He is also a strong supporter of this bid. I look forward to my work with the committee inquiring into Sydney's late‑night economy. I hope that we are able to revive Sydney's late‑night economy in time for what I hope will be a successful bid for 2023. And, of course, the light rail is on track to be running at that time.
A lot of great stuff will be happening in Sydney. I think our city will be flourishing and it will be a wonderful time for us to showcase our city to international visitors. In addition to showcasing Sydney it will be important to have a focus on this part of the world for the global LGBTI activist community. We have seen the success that can be achieved when we focus our attention on one area by the successful campaign for marriage equality in Taiwan recently but there is a lot more to do. Throughout the Asia-Pacific region there are a number of countries in which being gay is still criminalised and there is a lot more work to do. Hosting WorldPride in Sydney will put the world's focus on the Asia-Pacific region and will encourage and bring together activists from around the world to make our region a fairer and more equal place for all. I encourage all members of this Parliament and all members of InterPride, the governing body that will decide who will have WorldPride in 2023, to support Sydney's bid and to vote for Sydney's bid for WorldPride. This would be the first time that WorldPride would be held in the Southern Hemisphere. What a wonderful and important time to bring the focus of the world to our region and to celebrate our great global city.