FACTORY ROW: Just outside the Factory nightclub at Sunshine Plaza.
FACTORY ROW: Just outside the Factory nightclub at Sunshine Plaza.

Peter Slipper, Clive Palmer signs 'confused' with gay event

THE owners of the Factory: the project nightclub are shocked that two large murals of local political figures have been misconstrued as being promotions for a new weekly function for the gay community.

The popular Maroochydore nightspot is launching a new weekly social event on Sunday to cater to the local gay and lesbian community.

The launch of "Bent" coincides with the three-day Sunshine Coast Pride Festival, which starts on Friday night at the Eumundi markets site.

Large paintings of former MP Peter Slipper, and Member for Fairfax Clive Palmer, adorn two of the outside walls of the Maroochydore club, on the riverwalk at Sunshine Plaza shopping centre.

Mr Slipper's portrait includes the wording "Slip one in at the Factory".

Claire de Lune, owner of Factory: the project, said the portraits were not intended to be seen as promotional material for the Bent events.

"It's a bit of fun, that's all it is, it's not to do with Bent," Ms de Lune said.

"It's just a pun about coming and having a drink at the factory.

"To be honest, I hadn't linked it. I'm sorry if that doesn't make your story as interesting.

"I don't think it's something that should be linked."

Ms de Lune said the text aimed to emulate edgy venues in major cultural centres like New York and London.

"It's really about engaging the audience about being sensitive to events in the community," she said.

"It's like New York - it's political and edgy, so I guess it has that thread running through it."

Mr Slipper did not respond to messages left on his home phone.

His lawyers also did not respond to a message.

Mr Palmer declined to speak about the issue.

"That's nothing I'm interested in commenting on, bye," he said.

Lend Lease, which owns Sunshine Plaza, was asked if it supported the event and if it was concerned about the signs.

A spokeswoman said the company would respond to the issue today.

Ms de Lune said the Bent launch night would feature drag queens, a DJ from Sydney and a theme based on the movie The Birdcage.

"We've got lots of friends who are gay who are looking forward to coming along and are very excited about it," she said.

"We're getting really good feedback already - I think it should be very good.

"The Factory is an open-minded place and it's a place where we can look after this group of people, and do it authentically and not just as a business opportunity."

Bent will launch Sunday from 8pm.