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Prime Minister welcomes police participation in Mardi Gras

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has welcomed the decision to allow New South Wales police to march in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, albeit out of uniform.

“I think it’s a good thing that they are marching.” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said during an appearance on Channel Nine’s breakfast news program Today. 

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“Mardi Gras began back in 1978, that was a time when people were arrested for being who they are and locked up in Darlinghurst police cells.

“Now Australia has moved on from that, and the relationships between the police and the community, have much improve over a period of year. This is an opportunity when gay and lesbian members, who happen to be police officers, get to march – I think that’s a good thing.

The PM said he was pleased the board of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras reversed their original request that police abstain from participating in this year’s event.

“I think it’s a positive thing, this is an inclusive event, this about bringing people together. A moment of unity rather than division.”

Perth Lord Mayor and media personality Basil Zempalis, who is in the running to make a move to state politics for the Liberal party, has also shared his thoughts on the decision to allow police to participate in this year’s event.

In his weekly listicle for The West Australian Zempilas said the original decision to ask police to step down from this year’s parade was a “poor one”.

“It is one serving police officer who is alleged to have murdered Jesse Baird and Luke Davies, not the entire force.” Zempilas said, describing the atmosphere in Sydney in the lead up to nonight’s parade as “an uneasy and emotional time”.

“Why ostracise the innocent?” Zempilas asked his readers.

Earlier in the week the Board of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras asked police not to march in this year’s parade, but less than 48 hours later they reversed the decision after widespread criticism from both within the LGBTIQA+ communities and beyond.

The call came after police confirmed their belief Sydney couple Jesse Baird and Luke Davies had allegedly been killed by serving police office Beaumont Lamarre-Condon.

Police have alleged that Lamarre-Condon developed an obsession with former Network Ten presenter Jesse Baird and stalked him in the weeks and months leading up to murdering both Baird and his boyfriend Davies.

The incident also comes in the shadow of a Special Inquiry in New South Wales handing down its recommendations into four decades of gay hate crimes in the state.

The police force is yet to respond the extensive recommendations made by the inquiry, but last week Commissioner Karen Webb offered an apology for police failing to adequately investigate a large number of crimes between 1970 and 2010.

The parade is being broadcast live on ABC iView from 4:30pm WA time.

OIP Staff


Do you need some support?

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

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

DISCHARGEDinfo@discharged.asn.au / discharged.asn.au
Discharged is a trans-led support service with peer support groups for trans and gender diverse folks.

Lifeline: 13 11 14 / lifeline.org.au

Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 / www.beyondblue.org.au


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