THE City of Perth has reduced its financial contribution to this year’s Pride Festival in the lead up to the national same sex marriage survey.
At the August 29 meeting, councillors passed a cash sponsorship of $50,000 to the festival, down by $5000 from its 2016 contribution.
The move comes four days after City of Vincent raised a rainbow flag in support of the LGBTQI community and two days after the State Government announced $60,000 to two West Perth organisations to boost mental health support for the same group.
Pride WA had applied for $75,000.
The City’s total contribution to the festival since 2012 is $287,700, with 2016’s $55,000 its largest annual contribution to date.
A Pride WA spokeswoman said the committee was “naturally disappointed” to receive less funding but it was unlikely to impact the festival.
“Pride WA understand the economic climate that all of our corporate and government partners are operating in and would attribute that to the small reduction in funding,” the spokeswoman said.
“The committee will ensure that the $5000 reduction will have as little impact as possible on the community and delivery of PrideFEST.”
The spokeswoman said Pride WA strongly encouraged government and community support to vote ‘yes’ to same sex marriage.
“This will be referenced in a number of our communications,” she said.
In exchange for its sponsorship, the City of Perth crest will be featured on the Pride WA website, print advertising, digital marketing media releases and event signs.
A City spokeswoman attributed less cash to a “constrained economic climate”.
“Due to budgetary considerations, sponsorship amounts were reduced for the majority of applications,” she said.
The spokeswoman said there was no concern of community backlash over the reduced figure coinciding with the survey.
“PrideFEST has been held in the City of Perth for 24 years, and the City has invested $724,737 to support the event since 1999,” she said.
Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi took to Facebook to express her support for the LGBTQI community in the lead up to the “cringeworthy” survey.
“I do feel sad this issue has come to a postal vote,” she wrote.
“Why? Of course firstly – the ridiculous expense, but more because it really affects Brand Australia in my view and embarrasses me /us internationally to be brutally frank. It’s the type of thing that could become a skit on Saturday Night Live.”
Ms Scaffidi confirmed she would vote ‘yes’ in the survey.
“The LGBTQ community have been through so much having to declare their sexual preferences publicly for starters would be difficult for most,” she wrote.
“Not because they are different, but because of their honesty and a deeper desire to be accepted and live a true and more meaningful life.
“Such bravery and sometimes such judgment and sadly often ridicule can follow. It’s not unlike apartheid to me, which was segregation on race.”
The festival runs from October 27 to November 26.
An Australian Marriage Law Survey Form will be sent by post throughout a two week period from September 12 and should be completed and returned by 6pm on October 27. Results will be released on November 15.