(Bistro 80, Level 2, Star City)
Thank you, Mike OMalley, MC and good evening, everyone. I would like firstly to 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.
I'm pleased to welcome the Mayor of the Mid-Western Regional Council, Cr Des Kennedy, our hosts here at Star City, City of Sydney Councillors, Tourism NSW representatives and of course the Ultimo-Pyrmont business community and the Mudgee growers and wine-makers.
This is a terrific partnership between Pyrmont Ultimo Chamber of Commerce and Mudgee Wine Grape Growers' Association, celebrating this unique City village and the fabulous food and wine of Mudgee.
Together, they underline Pyrmont's growing reputation as one of Sydney's great dining precincts and tonight's launch of the first Pyrmont Festival of Food, Wine and Art kicks off what we hope will become a permanent feature of our City's rich cultural calendar.
Over the next 12 days, the Festival will occupy the wonderful cafes, restaurants, and bars of Pyrmont - not to mention one of the world's largest fish markets - with 17 matching Mudgee wine and food events.
As a City, we're dedicated to sustainability and I'm pleased to notice the strong organic wine movement in Mudgee, with no less than five organic wineries there.
They'll be among the 120 wines from 30 Mudgee winemakers - accompanied by gourmet foods from both Pyrmont and the Mudgee Region - in a day long extravaganza at our stunning and much-awarded Pirrama Park on the waterfront.
It will also be a great setting for the fifth annual Pyrmont Art Prize, with over 300 entries from a wide range of artists from Sydney and Mudgee.
In accordance with the tradition, the entries are all painted on 12-inch square canvases, providing a fascinating kaleidoscope, and they are all for sale.
I'm looking forward to the day, which will also feature roving entertainers and a performance stage and I hope you all join us there.
Meanwhile, please enjoy the Mudgee Region wine on offer now, along with some delicious bites from Star City's Bistro 80.
Thank you for coming.