(6.30pm, Lord Mayor's Reception Room)
Thank you and good evening, everyone.
Tonight, we'll shortly see almost 3,000 keen participants performing down George Street for our 19th Chinese New Year Festival - this year celebrating the Year of the Sheep.
This year, the route will once again be illuminated with projections on the buildings, and pyrotechnics will welcome the Lunar New Year.
I'd like to offer a warm Sydney welcome to the 150 members of the visiting Chinese delegation which this year comes from various parts of China. I thank the Ministry of Culture for making their visit possible and we look forward to seeing them, not only in tonight's parade, but in performances at Town Hall and the Angel Place Recital Hall.
I also warmly welcome this year's debut entry from Sydney's Thai community, and special thanks to the Consul-General and the Royal Thai Consulate for their support.
And thanks must also go to our own Chinese New Year team who have helped these celebrations evolve as a must-see event for the entire Sydney community.
I thank them, and all our wonderful supporters, and I wish you all a very enjoyable evening. Thank you.
Kung Hei Fat Choy! Gong Xi Fa Cai!