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Business sloth loses parade

A SLUGGISH response by Northbridge businesses has cost the area the Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade.

The Parade, which brought considerable financial benefits to many Northbridge businesses, has now moved to Subiaco where it has received “emotional and financial acceptance”.

It seems that the Northbridge businesses that claimed the event gave them their biggest night of the year were reticent to put their hands into their pockets to support it.

The Subiaco Business Assoc-iation, however, proved very proactive in raising sufficient funds to entice the Parade to the suburb for three years.

It is understood Subiaco businesses, through Prosubi, have put up $20,000 for the event.

The Subiaco Council has not allocated cash funding towards the event but has agreed to waive costs associated with holding it.

Lesbian and Gay Pride WA Inc. co-president Kerry McGuckin said Northbridge businesses could not get their act together.

She said the organisers would have been happy to keep the event in the precinct where it began more than ten years ago.

“We were led to believe they would be getting the funding together but in the end it did not happen,” Ms McGuckin said.

Northbridge Business Associ-ation president Vincent Tan blamed the loss of the Parade solely on comments made by Lord Mayor Peter Nattrass.

At its 28 March meeting, the Perth City Council agreed to put up $10,000 in cash and waive associated costs of holding the Parade to the value of $3,400.

Council included a proviso that the Parade organisers raised $10,000 from other sources.

Mr Tan said he had told the Parade organisers “that we should be able to get it (the $10,000) for them”.

However, the money was not forthcoming.

Council showed it was in support of the Parade. Only Dr Nattrass was opposed to council giving it the funding.

In a prepared statement that he read out to the meeting, Dr Nattrass said the event was “crass, overt, exhibitionism of sexual behaviour”.

He said gay-lesbian parades displayed levels of public nakedness, eroticism and sexual acts that bordered on the pornographic.

“It is not a dignified parade designed to draw attention to something as worthy as AIDS research.”

Councillor Tess Stroud said she agreed with Dr Nattrass’ sentiments but it was not council’s role to be the “guardian of the city’s morals”.

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