Food Lover's Guide to Kings Cross

(5pm, The Gazebo, Elizabeth Bay)

Thank you, Victoria [Moxley, director of Urban Walkabout], and hello, everyone.

The first Food Lover's Guide to Kings Cross, Potts Point and Surrounds is a great idea!

Sydney as a whole enjoys a wonderful reputation as food-lovers' heaven and it's fascinating to watch this area evolve as a premier destination. I'm sure this guide will open doors to new and delicious experiences, even for people who think they're already familiar with the neighbourhood.

For generations, Kings Cross has been a lively and cosmopolitan place.

After all, it was here that Sydney's first European-style deli and the famous Piccolo Bar - which is still trading - introduced us to tasteful delights.

The growth of beer barns and strip joints, gradually gave rise to street violence and a deteriorating quality of life for residents and those who wanted to enjoy all the other things it had to offer.

We're gradually winning back the lost ground and the growth of new and varied businesses here is helping us do that.

The City is a keen supporter of small bars, cafes, restaurants and fresh food markets. They make a very substantial contribution to the Sydney economy. And just as importantly, they add immeasurably to the variety, vitality and delight of city living.

We work to foster the sort of precincts and the high-quality developments that will enhance the character of our City villages. Our work at Llankelly Place paved the way - literally! - for a whole new dining laneway.

The organic markets are held every Saturday in Fitzroy Gardens; there are small bars like Old Growler and the Roosevelt; hatted restaurants including The Apollo, Yellow and Ms G's; coffee shops; providores and more.

Last year, ACME, The Butler, Billy Kwong and Cho Cho San all opened in the neighbourhood. In fact, the amazing range of choices here only makes this guide all the more useful and welcome.

So congratulations to Urban Walkabout on producing this great guide. I know it will be well used!