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Australia: Rainbow crossing’s removal upsets Sydney residents

BY NATASHA BARSOTTI — The New South Wales government's decision to remove a Sydney pedestrian crossing painted in rainbow colours for the annual gay pride parade is causing an uproar among residents, the Daily Telegraph reports. 

Pedestrian and road safety was given as the official reason for the crossing's removal.

The fate of the crossing at Taylor Square was a source of contention between Sydney's city council and the state government. The Telegraph says that Minister for Roads and Ports Duncan Gay had used a council-commissioned safety report as justification to pave over the crossing. Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore had disputed the report's findings. 

The BBC reports that approximately 15,000 people had signed a petition calling for the crossing to remain in place. 

The Daily Telegraph quotes Sydney Independent MP Alex Greenwich as saying that the rainbow crossing's removal was "aggressive." He has called on Premier Barry O'Farrell to apologize.

Greenwich said the road crews told him they were assigned to work at another site but were subsequently rerouted to Taylor Square to do "emergency road works."

“The rainbow road is literally the only example of roadworks happening efficiently,” one commentator tweeted, according to SameSame website.

Mardi Gras CEO Michael Rolik also registered his disappointment on Facebook. “Round 1 goes to bureaucratic flunkies for ripping up the rainbow crossing tonight. Round 2 is a float in next years Parade painting the whole route as a rainbow road.”

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