City of Perth unanimously votes in favour of LGBTQIA+ inclusion plan

The City of Perth Council has unanimously voted in favour of adopting an LGBTQIA+ inclusion plan put forward by their community advisory group.

The group was formed in the wake of newly elected Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas making disparaging remarks about people who are transgender. Now the group has presented the council with a 34 point plan to improve inclusion within the city.

Speaking ahead of the council’s vote, David Goncalves, the co-chair of the advisory body, said the creation of the advisory body and subsequent proposal marked a new era of true collaboration between the city and the local LGBTQIA+ communities.

“The environment of the past perhaps left the City hesitant and even unknowing how to “deal or manage the community” – but with this new approach of embracing community outreach – no matter the uncertainty – can lead to real positive change with a far more firmer platform for the kind of legacy that lasts.” Gonvalves said.

“Now that this draft plan is out for further public consultation I hope that the City of Perth can witness the benefits of this kind of genuine engagement. Not everything has to be a tightly controlled checkbox exercise. With real, genuine and wide reaching engagement you can bring along people to create solutions that not may not even be visible and surely would never have had the kind of support without such efforts.”

Councillors spoke positively about the new proposal ahead of the vote with Councillor Dr. Viktor Ko describing it as a “great document” and a great starting point for ongoing development.

The meeting was chaired by Deputy Mayor Sandy Anghie, as Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas is currently away due to his broadcasting commitments to the Tokyo Olympics.

On Wednesday Anghie said she was proud of the great work the City was doing through the Disability Access and Inclusion Plan and the Reconciliation Action Plan, as well as the soon-to-be-completed LGBTQIA+ Plan and Equal Employment Opportunity Management Plan.

“We are committed to celebrating and valuing the strength of our diverse community. This framework means we champion equity to ensure everyone can participate in the City of Perth equally, creating meaningful inclusion and fostering a sense of belonging.” Anghie said.

Among the proposals in the 34 point plan are support for the establishment of a Pride Hub in Perth, along similar lines to Melbourne’s recently opened Pride Centre.

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 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.

Graeme Watson 2-07-21 1:50pm Comment from Sandy Anghie added. 

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