Today I welcomed 324 new Australians from 56 different countries at a citizenship ceremony in Town Hall. The results of the latest census have shown that Sydney continues to be one of the most multi-cultural places in Australia. I encouraged our newest citizens to enrich our community with their skills, history and experiences.
(Picture: A family at today's citizenship ceremony at Town Hall)
I was very pleased to unveil the City's upgrade of Albion Place, which runs between George and Kent Streets beside the cinema complex. This lane used to be a dingy and unused space, but new paving, better lighting and a beautiful new artwork by Caroline Rothwell have made it a much more inviting space.
(Picture: Caroline Rothwell at the unveiling of her new artwork in Albion Place)
In Parliament this week in response to my question, the Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Hospitality and Racing extended the freeze on new liquor licences in parts of Kings Cross, Darlinghurst and the southern CBD for six months.
The government is finalising research on the cumulative impact of having too many licensed venues in one area. I hope that the government will listen to the community's concerns and give Councils the power to reject development applications for new licensed venues based on cumulative impact - a power we currently do not have.
In Parliament I spoke about the need for better funding for our schools - a lack of planning means many schools in our area are now struggling to cope with rising demands. I opposed the government's plans to radically overhaul WorkCover and condemned the terrible plan to allow hunting in our National Parks.
This morning I joined people from across the Redfern community at the Block to attend the funeral service for Joyce Ingram. Aunty Joyce was a wonderful woman who contributed a great deal all her life to her community and Aboriginal people in prison, young women coming in from the country, representing tenants on the Block, raising her four children and much more.
As a respected Elder in the Redfern area and a stalwart defender of the Block, I was very proud to see her cut the cake at the launch of Redfern Community Centre with the NSW Governor Marie Bashir back in 2004. All her life Aunty Joyce remained positive despite the adversity faced by the Aboriginal community generally and in the Block. She will be deeply missed by all those who knew her.
I hope you have a great weekend!