March given public acid test

RATEPAYERS will be given a say on whether Perth City Council should support the Pride Gay and Lesbian Parade.

A survey will be included in the mail out package for the extraordinary postal vote election to be held in July.

In March, council voted 8-1 in favour of providing sponsorship of $13,400 to the parade. On that occasion, Lord Mayor Peter Nattrass was the only dissenter.

However, the parade organisers then received a “better offer” from Subiaco businesses and the march moved there.

The Subiaco City Council decided it could not support the parade, so the organisers headed back to Northbridge.

Dr Nattrass argued that the result in Subiaco showed the need for a poll of electors’ feelings on the parade.

Supporters of the Pride march were given an opportunity to speak at a recent council meeting and showed strong opposition for the survey.

They indicated such a survey would be discriminatory.

There is also a suggestion that including a survey with the postal vote could be illegal.

However it is understood other councils have done just that in the past.

Councillor Tess Stroud questioned what march supporters feared from a survey.

“At one stage, this event was turning into an auction,” Mrs Stroud said.

However, Councillor Laurance Goodman said pursuing such a survey was a slap in the face to the councillors who had voted to support the event.

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