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City of Baywater votes against adding an extra flag pole for a Pride flag

The City of Bayswater has voted against a proposal to add an additional flag pole in front of the council buildings to allow for the flying of additional flags including the Pride flag.

The vote on adding the additional flag pole at a cost of $11,000 was split amongst councilors, and Mayor Filoemena Piffaretti was forced to cast the deciding vote where she opted to knock back the proposal.

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The proposal put forward by Councilor Nat Latter suggested that the addition of an additional flagpole would allow the council to show support for a wide range of significant days including RU OK? Day, United Nation’s Day, Wear It Purple Day or Pride.

City of Bayswater Mayor Filomena Piffaretti, Councilor Nat Latter and Councilor Steven Ostaszewskyj

Speaking at the council meeting on Monday Councilor Latter said the only way the council could show support for community events and significant days by flying a flag, was to install an additional flag pole. The four flagpoles currently fly the Australian flag, the Western Australian flag, the Indigenous flag and the Torrres Strait Islander flag.

Councilor Latter said their motivation for putting forward the idea was so that the Pride flag could be flown at certain times of the year.

“It matters for government’s to be visibly inclusive in this way because it saves lives, it encourages engagement with the city and participation in civic life, and because it’s incredibly meaningful for any level of government to proclaim their support for LGBTIQA+ people in a visible way like this.”

Councilor Latter said it was particularly relevant to the City of Bayswater given a large anti-LGBTIQA+ protest event was held in the city recently.

“I applaud the city and councilors for their response to it in the moment, but those kind of events have a lasting impact on the people affected, and our response should have a lasting effect too.”

Councilor Giorgia Johnson voiced her support the proposal, describing it as a simple solution. Deputy Mayor Elli Petersen-Pik also voiced support.

While councilor Steven Ostaszewskyj, who is a member of the LGBTIQA+ community, said he preferred to utilise the council’s digital signage to display support for the LGBTIQA+ community.

When it came to a vote the Deputy Mayor was in favour, alongside councilors Nat Latter, Dan Bull, Lorna Clarke and Giorgia Johnson

Voting against the proposal was the Mayor, alongside councilors Michelle Sutherland, Josh Eveson, Assunta Meleca, and Steven Ostaszewskyj.

Speaking on Radio Station 6PR Councilor Latter said she would consider raising the issue again in rate payers and residents asked for it to be reconsidered.


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