Planning for a stress-free Mardi Gras Party? Fair Play is here to help!

ACON Fair PlayNow in its fifth year, Fair Play – an LGBTIQ community initiative to help partygoers understand their legal rights during the Mardi Gras season, will be helping 2018 Mardi Gras party-goers to party safely.

“We’re very happy to have Fair Play continue with the Festival again in 2018,” said Terese Casu, CEO of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. “Fair Play is an important initiative, designed to ensure members of our communities, as well as the thousands of visitors who come to Sydney for Mardi Gras each year, have the necessary information and support to ensure they have the best possible Mardi Gras experience.”

With increased numbers of revellers expected and lots of excitement for the 40th anniversary, Fair Play will have extra volunteers outside the Party (Saturday 3rd March), armed with referral information and video cameras, recording police interactions and booking free legal advice appointments for those who need them.

Since Fair Play was established in 2014 there have been no serious complaints about Police at the Parade after-party, and drug operations have been conducted without incident.

“Fair Play works so well because the Fair Play team work with NSW Police to come to an agreement about how we can best support the community at the Mardi Gras Party,” says Vicki Harding, Director Inner City Legal Centre. Police need to do their job and enforce the law, and drug dogs are currently present at all large parties in Sydney.”

“Fair Play aims to ensure that party-goers are respected by Police and in turn that anyone who has an incident on the night is supported to find a resolution.”

Look out for the bright tees on the night and at Fair Day. You can access up-to-date legal information about keeping safe, police powers, drug searches, sniffer dogs and complaint procedures at: www.fair-play.org.au

It is also important for international and interstate visitors to consider local laws before celebrating on Saturday 3 March. Hilary Kincaid, Principal Solicitor Inner City Legal Centre reminds both international visitors and locals that “all prohibited drugs are equally prohibited, there is no ‘safe’ amount and there is no risk-free way to possess prohibited drugs.”

“Fair Play provides ACON and our partner community organisations with a vital opportunity to educate the communities we serve on a range of issues on legal rights and responsibilities, to safety and wellbeing,” said Nic Parkhill, ACON CEO.

“I’d like to commend the NSW Police’s efforts in seeing that this program can operate successfully; resulting in a decline in the number of arrests during the period. This is a community-led response that seeks to keep party-goers informed and safe, and we’re proud to be a part of this great initiative.”

The 2018 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras runs 16 February – 4 March. For more information, visit: www.mardigras.org.au For more information about Fair Play, visit: www.fair-play.org.au for details.

Image: Fair Play Volunteers – photo courtesy of ACON

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