Deves claimed SCG is permanently changing the Ladies Pavilion to the ‘Pride Pavilion’

Liberal candidate Katherine Deves claimed the Sydney Cricket Ground is removing the historic Ladies Pavilion and permanently renaming it the “Pride Pavilion” following the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras being held at the stadium.

Deves made the claim while appearing on an online panel for International Women’s Day. In the a conversation hosted by Rachel Wong, CEO of the Women’s Forum Australia, Deves said Sydney’s annual celebration of LGBTIQA+ people had become a money making exercise that had “captured” corporate sponsors.

“Pride was obviously here in Sydney over the weekend, and again massive corporate capture. When I looked at the list of floats it is all the corporates, all the banks, the law firms, and so on, and I went and dug out some pictures of when I went back in 1998 when everyone was still doing floats that they’d built in their backyards, and it was a big messy party at the Hordern, and I thought ‘Wow, they’ve really sanitised it and turned it into a money making machine’.

Deves appeared on the panel alongside Anna Kerr from Sydney’s Feminist Legal Clinic and Stassja Frei from the Coalition for Biological Reality and told the other panelists and the online audience that there was a plan to rename the Ladies Pavilion that change all it’s bathrooms to being gender neutral.

“They had it out at the cricket ground, the after party, and in the news today they were saying that the Ladies Pavilion that has been there since 1886 is now going to be renamed the Pride Pavilion and all the toilets are going to be made gender neutral. So the men are now going to have extra toilets facilities, and any women who are showing up with their children are going to have to line up for the Ladies – wherever they may be now.”

The demise of the Ladies stand however is not true, a spokesperson for Venues New South Wales confirmed to OUTinPerth that the renaming of the stand and gender neutral toilets occurred only for the evening of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

“The Ladies Stand was renamed the Pride Stand for the past two Mardi Gras which were held at the SCG. All toilets at the venue were also changed to be gender neutral.

“This is an initiative the venue would love to implement at upcoming Mardi Gras events if they continue to be held at the SCG.

“For all other events, the grandstand has reverted back to its original name, the Ladies Pavilion, with separate female and male toilets operational.” the spokesperson said.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras also confirmed that the renaming of the historic pavilion was just for one-night-only.

Deves might be given some leeway for the false claim however as it appears incorrectly reported the one night change in name was going to be a permanent fixture, but voters will be expecting elected officials to double check and get their facts right before repeating claims.

Since being selected as the Liberal party candidate for Warringah, Deves has been forced to clarify many of her previous statements about transgender people. The candidate has issued by several apologies for past statements, but stopped issuing apologies as the number of questionable statements built up.

Senior Liberal party members have begun referring to her first three apologies as now covering any item she may have previously claimed.

The selection of Deves has revealed a fractured party with prominent members endorsing and condemning her views.

Appearing in front of the media in Perth on Tuesday morning the Prime Minister said he was not going to allow Deves being silenced.

“She is a woman, standing up for women, and girls and their access to fair sport in this country. I’m not going to allow her to be silenced, I’m not going to allow her to be pushed aside as the pile on comes in to try and silence her.

“I will stand up with her, my team is standing up with her, and we will make sure that she won’t be silenced.” the Prime Minister said.

“I chose the woman who put herself through the solicitor’s administration board and stood up the Women and Girls and sport, and who was raising three of her own goals in that electorate right now, living in Manly.

“I think she will make a great Member of Parliament, she has learned in her advocacy and her private life the better ways to do things to take things forward as a Member of Parliament.

“I believe that is how she will approach the task if she is elected as the member for Warringah, and I don’t think she should be silenced because she has views that others don’t agree with.” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday morning.

The NSW Liberal Party has been contacted for comment.  

Graeme Watson 

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