“Equality is not negotiable in Victoria.”
With those words, Premier Daniel Andrews announced the establishment of a multi-million-dollar Pride Centre in Melbourne.
The Victorian Government has pledged $15 million towards the centre which, its says, will rival San Francisco’s LGBTI Community Centre, showcasing LGBTI art and history as well as housing free advisory, health and support services, and community spaces.
Equality Minister Martin Foley (pictured) said the establishment of Australia’s first such centre was “long overdue”.
“This is a centre that we will develop in partnership with the LGBTI community and the private sector to make Melbourne an international centre of LGBTI support,” he said.
“It will be a showcase for LGBTI culture. It will be LGBTI services. It will feature community spaces to provide a safe, supportive environment for people to be who they are.
“We’re confident we can make this a centre that will make Melbourne and Victoria an internationally recognised cultural centre for LGBTI pride.”
The final details on the centre will be decided in consultation with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex community.
The Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby said it was “over the moon” but ongoing funding would be needed to get the centre up and running.
Co-Convenor Sean Mulcahy also welcomed $6.4 million in funding for Monash Health’s gender dysphoria clinic.
The pre-budget announcement comes ahead of the formal historic state apology to the LGBTI community in parliament on Tuesday, May 24 for those convicted under unjust and prejudiced laws against homosexual acts.
“It’s about time that we not only square the ledger and quash those convictions but apologise to those people on behalf of the Victorian people,” Mr Foley said.