The Australian Christian Lobby will be allowed to hire state-owned facilities for a controversial live show with its national managing director Martyn Iles after the Perth Theatre Trust backflipped on its original decision to reject the group’s request.
In June, the Perth Theatre Trust refused the ACL’s request to hire the Albany Entertainment Centre and Perth Concert Hall for its ‘The Truth of It’ live show on the grounds that the show’s content would have been contrary to its venue hire policies.
Those included that the event, which purported to tackle “thorny issues” with a biblical perspective, was a politically motivated event and didn’t represent the views of the WA government or the majority of its people.
Despite the most recent policy document only being adopted on March 15, Perth Theatre Trust chair Morgan Solomon said its venue hiring policies were under review.
Mr Solomon said because the review was unlikely to be completed in time for the proposed booking dates of the lobby’s events, the decision to refuse the request was rescinded.
“The PTT will revise its venue hire policy to strengthen its position to make decisions for commercial hires in accordance with the PTT’s values,” he said.
“The primary purpose of Perth Theatre Trust venues is for cultural and artistic expression. Commercial hires are a secondary consideration, however, Perth Theatre Trust decisions will always respect the values of diversity, equality, and inclusion.”
LGBTIQA+ groups lauded the trust’s decision, warning Mr Ilses would discuss issues that would be harmful to the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQA+ communities.
The ACL criticised the move, with its WA director flagging he was likely to take the issue to the Equal Opportunity Commission if the decision wasn’t overturned.