Doggywood Launch Mardi Gras Fair Day

(Victoria Park)

Hello, everyone, welcome to one of my favourite Mardi Gras events.

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.

How wonderful to see all these Sydney dog-lovers out in force, accompanied by your animals. I've brought my own along, and I can tell you that they enjoy it as much as I do.

Companion animals bring so much joy into people's lives; they provide an incentive to get out and enjoy all our beautiful City has to offer and as any dog-lover will tell you, they provide a terrific way to make friends with a whole range of people in your neighbourhood or your local park.

We've increased the number of off-leash areas to give more dogs the chance to run and play freely and all we ask is that dog-owners respect the rules and be considerate of other park users. And don't forget the City runs free dog-obedience courses if you have a recalcitrant pet!

Meanwhile, there's this amazing obstacle course here for the dogs to practise on before this afternoon's entertainment begins.

So let me wish you all a fabulous time here at Doggywood, and Happy Mardi Gras!