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Wyndham City Council Faces Backlash Over Proposed LGBTQIA+ Advisory Group Amid Watchdog Warnings

LGBTQIA+ Wyndham City

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Council Watchdog Accuses Activists of Manufacturing Problems as Council Moves Forward with Controversial Petition

Wyndham City Council is set to explore the formation of an LGBTQIA+ advisory group after receiving a petition signed by 15 residents. This decision, made at Tuesday night’s council meeting, comes amidst criticism from Council Watch, which views such efforts as unnecessarily costly.

The petition, which prompted the motion, highlighted the need for an LGBTQIA+ committee in Wyndham. In response, the council agreed to draft a report on the feasibility of this initiative. However, the watchdog expressed concerns over the financial and resource implications.

Dean Hurlston, president of Council Watch, emphasized that local governments have long been inclusive employers of LGBTQIA+ individuals, even before it was “trendy”.

“If there was a serious crime or discrimination issue to address, we would support that. This is more of a case of vested interest activists seeking to manufacture problems in local government, that only they can solve through expensive accreditations and workshops,” Mr Hurlston said. “The only cases on record are those where these groups have incited residents who may be at odds with controversial issues like drag story time in Council libraries.

Drag Story Time

“Sadly, members have gone after anyone who does not agree with degendered council facilities or drag story time. This is what is causing the division and wasting large amounts of staff time managing the conflicting priorities.

“What alarms us is vested interests, follow the money!”

The Victorian Pride Lobby has launched the ‘Rainbow Local Government’ campaign to support LGBTQIA+ candidates and allies, encouraging them to take a ‘rainbow pledge.’ This pledge includes commitments to establish or continue an LGBTQIA+ advisory committee, pursue ‘Rainbow Tick accreditation’ for council services, and display the rainbow flag on LGBTQIA+ awareness days.

Former AFL player Danielle Laidley was invited to the recent IDAHOBIT day at council.

Sean Mulcahy, co-lead of the campaign, praised Wyndham’s decision as a move towards greater inclusivity and safety in the community.

“Advisory committees are made up of volunteers who generously share their time. They provide valuable expertise to councils on issues affecting the local community,” Mr Mulcahy said.

“With this decision, Wyndham has the opportunity to join more than 20 other Victorian councils.”

While Wyndham City Council did not address questions about the potential financial impact on ratepayers, a spokesman confirmed that the motion was passed with the support of all councillors except Councillor Heather Marcus, who abstained.

The council will now work on preparing a detailed report to be reviewed at an upcoming meeting.

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