City of Perth to vote on LGBTQIA+ plan as data shows safety concerns

The City of Perth council will this evening vote on the city’s LGBTQIA+ Plan, developed by the LGBTQIA+ Advisory Group formed earlier this year.

The Advisory Group was formed in the wake of Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas’ offensive comments on trans, gender diverse and intersex bodies and identities made in October last year, with the aim of developing policies to improve inclusion and diversity.

The plan was produced with over 500 engagements between the community and the Advisory Group. From those engagements, data was compiled to better understand Perth’s LGBTQIA+ communities and our needs to inform the development of the plan.

Alarmingly, 49% of respondents said they feared for their safety, while 46% were uncertain the City of Perth was a safe place for LGBTQIA+ people. 41% of respondents said they had experienced discrimination or harassment because of their LGBTQIA+ identity, and 73% believed discrimination or harassment was likely.

The three-year plan that outlines action in seven key areas: Safety; Education; Homelessness; Healthcare; Organisational Capability; Welcoming and Accessible Services and Visibility, following the guiding principles of recognising intersectionality, creating safe spaces, delivering through co-design and capital city leadership.

Just some of the actions proposed in the plan include training security and law enforcement to be LGBTQIA+ allies, increasing the number of gender-neutral bathrooms, including existing research on LGBTQIA+ homelessness in future plans, promoting Community Wellbeing Grants to LGBTQIA+ groups, regular engagement with LGBTQIA+  stakeholders and a review of LGBTQIA+ inclusion among City of Perth services.

The plan also includes a recommendation for the establishment of a Pride Hub, in the vein of Melbourne’s recently opened multi-million dollar Pride Centre.

“Perth has a rich and lengthy LGBTQIA+ history. It is, and has been, a meeting place for LGBTQIA+ people across the State and as the City of Perth Council, we have a role to play in protecting and enhancing the lives of those who live, work and visit our city,” Lord Mayor Zempilas said of the plan.

“I acknowledge that we are on a journey of learning and, through close collaboration with the LGBTQIA+ community, we will be more visible in our leadership towards making Perth a safer place for LGBTQIA+ people.”

City of Perth CEO Michelle Reynolds says they have heard the feedback of Perth’s LGBTQIA+ community and allies, and thanks for Advisory Group for their dedication.

“This three-year plan is ambitious, however it demonstrates our commitment to improving the experience of LGBTQIA+ people in the city,” Reynolds said.

“We look forward to sharing the progress made with, and for, the community through this plan over the next three years.”

More to come.

Leigh Andrew Hill

Do you need some support?

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, support and counselling are available from:

QLife: 1800 184 527 / (Webchat 3pm – midnight)
QLife are a counselling and referral service for LGBTQIA+ people.

DISCHARGED: 9364 6909 / / [email protected]
Discharged is a trans-led support service with peer support groups for trans and gender diverse folks.

Lifeline: 13 11 14 /

Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 /

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