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EXCLUSIVE

Former City of Sydney councillor Phillip Black has raised concerns about the proposed Taylor Square bike hub, urging the City to instead establish a museum or gallery to boost its cultural program.

Since 2013, when significant discussions were being held to consider a permanent exhibition space and the City’s cultural policy discussion paper was released, Mr Black has called for greater cultural exhibition within the City of Sydney.

“The City holds a very significant ‘civic art and items collection’ that rarely sees the light of day, except for furnishing Sydney Town Hall and other civic places,” he said.

“The council has no ‘city gallery’, unlike many other local governments including Manly or Lane Cove. There are historical reasons for this lack, but the issue is not even touched upon in the City of Sydney’s cultural discussion paper.”

The establishment of a gallery would enable the exhibition of this collection, encourage philanthropy and host community-curated exhibitions from all different communities including LGBTI groups, Mr Black said.

“It will ensure that a proper investigative process will occur to seek property, funding, staff and cultural program development,” he told City News.

“I encourage the LGBTI community to lobby for the City of Sydney to establish a community cultural gallery that will include LGBTI exhibitions.”

Liberal councillor Christine Forster has argued that the old T2 building should have become a permanent gay and lesbian museum. A motion to pursue that was rejected at the most recent council meeting.

“Many community members with whom I have discussed the proposal have expressed broad and enthusiastic support,” Cr Forster said. “Clover Moore, however, still needs to be convinced.”

Mr Black agreed that “conducting an investigation to establish the feasibility of continuing such an exhibition space would have been wise and prudent”. He was a member of the Clover Moore Independent Team while on council but is understood to have fallen out with the Lord Mayor.