Keep the rainbow crossing

When I asked the Council to support the rainbow crossing in February, I made it clear that we believed if the crossing met safety requirements then it should stay in place.

The City engaged an independent firm to do a road safety audit of the rainbow crossing.

The safety audit found no accidents or injuries were caused by the rainbow crossing. The audit also shows that generally the risk to the public of having the rainbow crossing is "low".

Some tomfoolery was observed as people rushed to take photos while lying down on the crossing late at night. However, we believe this behaviour was in response to the novelty of the crossing.

The audit, in identifying the incidents of silly behaviour, found no action was needed apart from monitoring of the crossing.

This is bureaucracy gone wild - the Minister wants to remove the crossing because he doesn't like some pictures people have taken. Those pictures are a drop in the ocean compared to the tens of thousands of other pictures of the crossing that have raced around the world and promoted Oxford Street as one of the best GLBT tourism destinations in the world.

Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Murdoch said, "It's very, very visible, it looks great, and in terms of pedestrian safety it's a great innovation."

The crossing is beautiful and already a much loved piece of public art. People want it to stay - the petition has already attracted more than 12,000 signatures.

It is a proud mark of how far the equal rights movement has come. Just a few decades ago, gay men and lesbian woman were violently targeted and had no rights but today we celebrate their contributions and we expect equality.

The crossing is highly symbolic to Sydney, to Oxford Street and to the GLBT community.

It should be allowed to remain so that we can continue to promote equal rights and the heart of our GLBT community - Oxford Street - as well as Oxford Street businesses to people around the world.

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