(12.30pm, Thursday 4 March 2013, Lord Mayor's Reception Room)
Hello, everyone, welcome to Town Hall. I'd like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nations who live in our City.
I'm pleased to welcome you here - both our own Committee for Sydney and the Australian Committees for Cities and Regions.
We have developed a great relationship with the Committee for Sydney which has been a terrific, and vocal, supporter of our OPEN Sydney Strategy, which you'll be briefed on at this meeting.
The Committee has also supported our proposal for light rail on George Street - now finally getting State Government support and action! And our Connecting Sydney projects.
We tremendously grateful for that support, and the momentum it helps build to help us get things done. As we all know, there are plenty of good ideas and good projects out there. But getting them done is a challenge of another order!
Working co-operatively, however, can make such a difference. And just as we welcome the opportunity to work with the Committee for Sydney on key issues here, we also welcome the opportunity to work with you, and other colleagues on common issues in Australian cities.
A lot of our work is through the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors, and we also work with the National Local Government Drug and Alcohol Advisory Committee on issues related to the late-night economy.
So we're glad to have this opportunity to brief you on our work in this area.
It began in April 2011, and of course, it raises a whole suite of complex issues.
But the enthusiasm for a richer, more diverse night economy is palpable, and already some of the benefits are becoming clear.
Our night-time economy has been growing; small bars have taken off right across the City and the City villages.
We're instituting late-night programming in our libraries to complement the late-night openings at the major cultural institutions and we're planning for a White Night-style event where those institutions open for an entire night once a year.
People are now recognising that there can be host of night-time activities, other than just boozing and clubbing, and that the city as a whole can only benefit from the variety of choices.
What was born out of concerns about alcohol-related violence and safety is now maturing as a truly exciting new vision for the City.
Once again I'd like to thank the Committee for Sydney for their support, and to welcome you all here. Thank you.