You might wanna grab a stress ball for this one.
Today the Kings Cross Hotel was forced to remove a Keep Sydney Open banner after a complaint from a local pro-lockout group.
The offending banner was erected for last weekend’s Meet Me In The Cross festival, put on by Keep Sydney Open (which was fucking amazing by the way), and left up in support of their efforts.
Today it was taken down under threat of a $6,000 fine from the local council as it was erected without official approval from the City Of Sydney Council.
“We had good intentions in putting the banner up. It was about supporting a community initiative and local businesses in the area,” said Dan Lacaze, marketing director at Solotel, which owns the Kings Cross Hotel.
Lacaze said the hotel “unreservedly apologised” for failing to get council approval.
As Fairfax report, the breach was brought to attention of authorities by a pro-lockout group who have called themselves the ‘2011 Residents Association’ (named after the Kings X postcode) which raised the issue with the council via Twitter.
Association secretary Peter Young said at least seven people contacted the group to complain about the “political nature” of the sign.
“They said: ‘How dare they come in and make Kings Cross a political situation?'” he said. “If we get vilified for being sticks in the mud or dobbers, so be it. We are there to represent the residents.”
The City of Sydney said the council investigated the matter after receiving two online complaints and found the hotel had not sought approval.
“The banner is being removed voluntarily and City staff will work with the hotel to ensure any future signage is submitted through the formal approval process,” a spokesman said.
Keep Sydney Open’s Tyson Koh said the backlash to the banner was “a metaphor” for the broader dispute surrounding the lockout laws.
“There’s a residents’ committee that’s opposed to us,” he said. “It shows the factors at play when it comes to gentrification and entertainment precincts in the inner city.”
“It hurts that there are groups out there that think Keep Sydney Open is driven by alcohol industry or tainted money or drug money, when its support comes from thousands of people who support a safe and vibrant nightlife.”
Read a snippet of our interview with Tyson Koh for issue # 5 of Happy Mag here.