(Sydney Opera House)
Hello, everyone. Welcome to 2010 Sydney New Year's Eve.
I acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of this land, and I pay my respects to the Elders, both past and present.
We've come to expect fantastic fireworks in Sydney and Fortunato Foti has again fulfilled these expectations with that display - thank you Fortunato.
I've just been with a lot of excited children with special-needs and their carers picnicking in the Botanic Gardensâ€”and I know they will have loved their front-row seats for that display.
The midnight fireworks promise to be even more spectacular but I won't reveal the top-secret Bridge Effect at the climax, other than to say our team has excelled this year with a multi-layered extravaganza.
And now, one of the most beautiful events of the evening - the Harbour of Light parade - is getting underway, with 52 illuminated boats with the best harbour in the world as their stage!
This New Year's Eve, we ask you to "Make Your Mark".
As well as making our mark as the City with the most fabulous New Year's Eve celebration, our theme also reflects that, as Australians, we have all made our mark on this ancient land. It invites us to reflect on what we do and the contribution we make to our place and time.
"Make your Mark" is about our own unique contribution, not just in 2011, but in the decade ahead. At this time of unprecedented blizzards in United States and Europe, and floods in Australia, we could make our mark by thinking and acting sustainably, and hopefully make this the decade of action on global warming.
Our charity partner for 2010 is WWF Australia, which has been making its mark for 50 years, protecting our planet and building a sustainable future. Please give them your support.
I will also sincerely thank each of our media partners and sponsors, who make this great celebration happen: 2DayFM, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Sun-Herald, Roads and Traffic Authority, Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, Royal Australian Navy, NSW Maritime, Sydney Opera House Trust, Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Bytecraft Entertainment, Tempus Two, Maker's Mark, Technical Direction Company, EGroup Security, Coca-Cola Amatil, Crown Lager, Sydney Ports Corporation and the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water. Thank you to Simon Sandall and the kitchen of Opera Point Events for the delicious food.
I thank our Creative Director, Rhoda Roberts. This is her third and final Sydney New Year's Eve. Amid the glamour and excitement, Rhoda has given us our underlying, thought-provoking theme - "Make Your Mark".
Finally, I also thank Di Henry, our producer for 2010 Sydney New Year's Eve; the fabulous production, technical and operational staff; the 250 volunteers; and all the City of Sydney staff who make this a memorable occasion.
And now I'll raise my glass of fine Tempus Two wine and wish you all a very Happy New Year. Enjoy the countdown to 2011.