New Years Eve 2009 at Sydney Opera House

Hello, welcome; and a special welcome to distinguished guests.

A special welcome to:

  • The Premier, Kristina Keneally;
  • The Deputy Premier Carmel Tebbutt and Minister Anthony Albanese (her husband and also the Federal Minister for Infrastructure);
  • The Federal Minister for Housing Tanya Plibersek;
  • The Speaker of the NSW Parliament Richard Torbay;
  • State Ministers Lynda Burney, Steve Whan and Paul Mcleay; and
  • Opposition Spokesmen Mike Baird and Brad Hazzard.
  • And, parliamentary colleagues not already mentioned.

Welcome also to our distinguished guests from the community; from business industry; the media; the arts and local government - the many mayors who are ere and especially the Deputy Lord Mayor and fellow Councillors from the City of Sydney.

Our theme for our New Years Eve celebration this year is "Awaken the Spirit". Aboriginal people believe we need to "Awaken the Spirit" each year - to stir up the spirit within our land, water, sky and of course our people.

This belief is most relevant at this time, when our planet faces catastrophic climate change and we need, as a people, to change our ways and nuture our environment.

That is why we have partnered with the Australian Conservation Foundation, which is asking us all to turn over a new green leaf in 2010 by making simple changes to reduce our environmental impact.

We at the City of Sydney, togethere with other Australian capital cities and 100 world leading cities, have committed to practical action - In the case of Sydney, a reduction of 70% emissions by 2030. And we are doing this because cities, where over half the world's population lives, contribute 75% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.

And we are committed to this action in partnership with the State and Federal Governments.

But it doesn't mean we can't have fun - we just need to be responsible about the way we live and the choices we make. Indeed, tonight's event, through with our use of 100% green power the purchase of carbon credits, is carbon neutral.

And it is important to acknowledge our multicultural Australian community and our many visitors coming together around our beautiful harbour to enjoy the spectacle of amazing fireworks, and bridge effects synchronised to a powerful music soundtrack and the boats of the magic harbour light parade.
New Year's Eve 2009 also promotes our city to the world, and this year will bring over $156 million to the state.

THANKS

On behalf of everyone enjoying this remarkable event, I would like to thank the media partners and sponsors who make it possible.

  • 2DayFM
  • The Sydney Morning Herald and The Sun-Herald
  • The Roads and Traffic Authority
  • The Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority
  • NSW Maritime
  • The Sydney Opera House Trust
  • Bytecraft Entertainment
  • Donate Life
  • The Royal Australian Navy
  • The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust
  • Sydney Ports Corporation
  • Galliano
  • Philip Shaw Wines
  • Coca-Cola Amatil, and
  • Fosters Australia.

I would like to thank Rhoda Roberts, our talented creative director; our amazing producer Brenton Kewley, and the 1000 personnel, 250 volunteers and all the terrific City of Sydney staff who create this memorable occasion.

CONCLUSION

Tonight we invite you to:

  • Get with the spirit of our land.
  • Turn over a new green leaf and take up the challenge to save the planet and provide a future for our children.

Happy New Year, everyone. Have a great evening.