Tag Archives: government funding

Government funds Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

Parade goers ri...

Image by Getty Images
via Daylife

For the first time ever the NSW Government is assisting in funding the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras! I heard this piece of news on Friday then promptly forgot about it, fortunately a new reader, Jimmy, reminded me about the funding of the Catholic World Youth Day, which reminded me about this piece of news.

As many of you know both the State and Federal Governments funded the Catholic World Youth Day to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. So why shouldn’t the government fund the Mardi Gras? As the new NSW Premier said about the Mardi Gras:

It’s become an international showcase of Sydney’s inclusiveness, creativity and diversity, and a celebration shared by the wider community.

Unlike the CWYD which, even though they tried to convince us otherwise, was really only of interest to a small minority of Catholics.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is one of the biggest events of it’s kind in the world. The Mardi Gras has had some of the largest audiences of any event in Australia and as Events NSW Chief Executive Geoff Parmenter says:

“It has been estimated that the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras generates more than $30 million of direct economic benefit for NSW each year, and it has become an international showcase of Sydney’s diversity.”

So what has taken so long for the government to finally chip in a few dollars? When I heard this news, one of the first things I wondered was; what impact did all the negative feedback from the general populace about CWYD have on the decision to fund the Mardi Gras. I wasn’t the only person at the time making comparisons to the two events and questioning why one got government funds and the other didn’t.

The two letters to the newspaper I sent (neither of which got published) outlined the concerns I had at the time and the total inaccuracies being spouted by the Catholic Apologetics. You can read those on my Letters to the Editor post.

However, there are still a few people who don’t agree with me, and the many others, who think the government should financially assist the Mardi Gras. The Daily Telegraph has a couple of articles and blogs with criticisms of the funding. There is also a poll on the Daily Telegraph article, which has over 500 comments!, which is currently running at over 70% in favour of the funding.

In some respects I agree with some of the comments, that why should the government (i.e.. us taxpayers) help fund what is currently a reasonably financially successful event. The bottom line is, why not? Why should the government not assist the Mardi Gras but assist the vastly more wealthy Catholic church? Government funds all sorts of things that you or I might not agree on, but at least they have to be fair when it comes to handing out money.

So I’m going to do a Pharyngula and ask all my readers to skew the poll (side bar, about half way down) and vote Yes.


One last thing, whilst finishing writing this I’m half listening to Compass, which is on in the background in the next room. Something about a bunch of deluded twits from some wacked out religious collage in America that helps breed lobbyists intent on “reclaiming America for Christ.”. Scary, scary, scary; American atheists get out now while there’s still a chance! I’ve got a spare room if anyone’s interested.  :lol: 


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Filed under atheism, atheist, Catholic, Catholic WYD, gay and lesbian, government funding, homophobia, Mardi Gras, NSW, Sydney

Census Submission – follow up

Got an interesting email today regarding my submission to the ABS for changes to the religion question in Census 2011. This is the full text of the message:

Dear Census Client

Mr Brian Pink, the Australian Statistician, recently highlighted to the government that the ABS budget situation for 2008-09 and beyond involved insufficient funds to sustain continuation of our current work program and provided us with no capacity to take on additional work.

Last week Mr Pink confirmed that we would not be able to obtain relief in the 2008-09 budget, and indicated that the ABS would need to cut work programs as a consequence. We regret to advise one of the work programs affected is the Census Program.

The impact on this program is that the questions for the 2011 Census of Population and Housing will be comparable to those asked in the 2006 Census. This action will not compromise the integrity and quality of ABS Census data.

We are not expecting changes or disruption to the ongoing output schedule of products and services from the 2006 Census.

While the number or frequency of some statistical products may reduce marginally, the ABS will still produce an extensive range of statistical information.

ABS thanks all who have made topic submissions for the 2011 Census. These submissions will be reconsidered as part of the consultation process post 2011.

For further information please telephone 1300 175 070 or email 2011.census@abs.gov.au.

Yours sincerely

Paul Lowe
Head
Population Census Branch

So, it seems it was all a waste of time. Someone, somewhere, has decided to cut funding to the ABS. So the ABS has decided to cut the Census 2011 program, in particular submissions for changes to it.

The ABS web site doesn’t seem to have a report about this, but the Census 2011 links have all disappeared.

I’m at a bit of a loss what to say or do. I may consider writing to the Federal Government expressing my concern that a valuable service such as the ABS has had its funding cut, but I don’t know if it’s worth the effort?

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Filed under ABS, atheism, atheist, census, census 2011, government funding, politics