The NSW Police Force has launched a high-visibility policing operation ahead of the 43rd annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade this weekend.
Operation Commander, Assistant Commissioner Gelina Talbot, was joined by Acting Chief Operations Officer Mark Hutchings from Transport for NSW, and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Chief Executive Officer Albert Kruger, to launch Operation Mardi Gras 2021 at the Sydney Police Centre today (Friday 5 March 2021).
This year, the traditional parade featuring large floats through Darlinghurst will be replaced by a ticketed, COVID-safe event within the Sydney Cricket Stadium (SCG) at Moore Park.
Outside of the SCG, the NSW Police Force will have a strong presence across the operation footprint, which includes Oxford Street, Hyde Park, Moore Park and public transport routes to and from the area.
In line with the 2021 Mardi Gras theme, RISE, the NSW Police Force and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras are asking the community to ‘Rise’ together to celebrate our rich diversity, address inequality and to overcome adversity, which is particularly relevant given the impact of COVID-19.
“Mardi Gras is a great opportunity to come together and celebrate and support the LGBTIQ community,” Assistant Commissioner Talbot said.
“The NSW Police Force proudly promotes diversity and inclusion, and we therefore ask that all attendees act respectfully tomorrow – to each other, to parade participants, staff, and to all the volunteers who are there to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable event.”
The police operation will involve general duties officers, assisted by specialist units, including the Public Order and Riot Squad, Operations Support Group, Dog and Mounted Unit, PolAir, Licensing Police, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command and Police Transport Command.
The Public Health Act has also been amended to ensure a safe and fun night for all those participating in and supporting the event.
“Remember that the Mardi Gras will look different this year and police have been working closer than ever with parade organisers and other stakeholders to ensure a COVID-safe event could go ahead,” Assistant Commissioner Talbot said.
“Our focus remains on maintaining public safety and security. While we want everyone to enjoy their night, we also need to keep in mind we are still living in a pandemic and certain public health orders need to be adhered to.
“We encourage anyone who does not have a ticket to an event, or a reservation at a venue, to celebrate at home. And of course, if you are out and about, please practice social distancing.”
For more information about the 2021 Mardi Gras parade, visit www.mardigras.org.au
For more information about Public health orders relating to Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras arrangements visit www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/information/covid19-legislation/sydney-gay-and-lesbian-mardi-gras-arrangements
Access the ‘Trip Planner’ application and check the latest timetable and ticketing information for trains, buses, ferries and taxi ranks via www.transportnsw.info.
Keep up-to-date with special event traffic information as well as live traffic reports by visiting www.livetraffic.com.
For further information on alcohol-free zones in Sydney visit the City of Sydney website: www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au.