(7.10pm 29 January 2012, Sydney Town Hall)
Hello, everyone. Welcome to the 2012 Sydney Chinese New Year Parade.
I would like firstly to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of the 200 nationalities who live in our City.
A special welcome to our Sydney Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean communities, all celebrating Lunar New Year.
This is the City of Sydney's 16th Chinese New Year Festival and this year is the Year of the Dragon - one of the most powerful and lucky signs in the Chinese zodiac. Let us take this as a good omen for our City and its communities.
We hope you'll enjoy the dazzling Parade that's about to begin. With 3000 performers, and spectacular floats and costumes, it's our biggest ever. And we have a new element tonight in the stunning building projections you'll see along the Parade route until 1.00am.
Please join me in giving a warm Sydney welcome to this year's visitors who come to us from Chengdu in Sichuan [see-shwan] province. It's wonderful to have you here.
Happy Chinese New Year of the Dragon, everyone! Kung Hei Fat Choy!