(Lord Mayor's Reception Room)
Good evening, everyone. Welcome to our pre-parade reception. I'd 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 also welcome our guests: the NSW Attorney-General and Minister for Citizenship, the Hon John Hatzistergos, MLC; His Excellency Chen Yuming, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China; His Excellency, Hu Shan, Consul-General of the People's Republic of China in Sydney; Mr Zhang Tong, Vice-governor of the People's Government of Hubei Province; our esteemed guests from Chengdu, Sichuan Province; Dr Cindy Pan, our Chinese New Year Festival Ambassador; our City of Sydney Councillors and a special welcome to the delegation from Hubei Province.
There are no less than 250 artists from Hubei - the fifth contingent of performers from China to join our New Year celebrations, and I look forward to their great contribution to our 2011 Twilight Parade.
There's a spectacular array of events throughout the 17 days of the Festival - from fabulous markets in Belmore Park last weekend, to dragon boats races next weekend and a host of arts, cultural and family activities.
Sydney is home to people of 200 different nationalities and our Chinese New Year celebrations attract a good cross-section, including of course our Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese communities.
This is our third Twilight Parade and it promises to be the most spectacular yet, finishing with a firework display at Darling Harbour.
I'd like to thank all those who help make it possible: the Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China; the Embassy of the People's Republic of China; the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China; the People's Government of Hubei Province for their support; our many sponsors for their generosity; our Chinese New Year Advisory Group, chaired by Councillor Robert Kok; our City of Sydney staff and especially our guests from Hubei for bringing their skills and artistry to delight us all. I wish them a most enjoyable stay in our City.
Have a great night, everyone. Kung Hei Fat Choy!