Proud return

City of Perth LGBTQIA+ Advisory Committee member Andrew Hall, Perth CEO Michelle Reynolds, committee members Michael Goncalves and Curtis Ward, Basil Zempilas, Choon Tan, and Callan Kneale from Pride WA.

AFTER two years’ absence, the Pride Parade’s return to Northbridge has been locked in after Perth council offered up a record level of funding to secure the event. 

Pride WA CEO Choon Tan led a deputation to a special Perth council meeting this week calling on the city to increase the amount of funding.

The parade will cost the organisation $424,000 to run this year. Like many public events costs have ballooned due to security and the need for hostile vehicle mitigation barriers.

Council staff had recommended $127,000 funding in line with the council’s usual policy that it’ll sponsor up to 30 per cent of an event. 

Mr Tan said they wanted to build the festival and put it on the global map but the huge costs were a barrier: “We are concerned the City’s expectations cannot be met with the support the City has proposed … we cannot meet these major expectations without being given major support by the City.”

Council staff advised councillors not to increase the funding as the $1 million event sponsorship budget had just $377,000 left, with more events in the pipeline to be funded.

They also pointed out that Pride wasn’t quite the same draw as a big event like Fringe, which resulted in far more spending at local shops by city visitors. 

But councillor Sandy Anghie moved an amendment and overruled that recommendation, increasing the funding to $210,000. That leaves $167,000 in the kitty.

“We need to support this event to help make it bigger and better and help Pride put their Pride Festival on the global map,” Cr Anghie said.

“I remember going to my very first Pride Festival in Sydney and as a youngster was blown away by the amount of people in the street and the activity, and I’d like to see our event get bigger and bigger and reach that scale.

“It has been a few years as well since the last parade has been held in Northbridge and the world has completely changed, as Choon has rightly pointed out, and there’s more security to deal with and additional costs, so let’s help them make their festival fantastic.”

The amendment was unanimously backed. The Parade is on November 26 and this year’s theme is “Shine”. 

Council staff hinted there are some big events that are applying for the remnant cash but they remain confidential until the items go to open council.

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