Halo Sculpture Opening

(10.55am 14 August 2012, Central Park, Chippendale Green)

Thank you, Toru Abe, President, MD Sekisui House. Hello, everyone. 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 200 nationalities who make up our City.

It's a pleasure also to acknowledge Frasers Property Australia CEO, Guy Pahor, Monica Barone City of Sydney CEO and Councillor Meredith Burgmann.

When urban redevelopment is on a scale like this, it will inevitably have a major impact on the city as a whole. Done badly, it can be a blight for years to come. Done well, it can bring a new dimension to the city, create new connections and add to the texture and delight of city life.

From the beginning of this project, Frasers, with Sekisui House, have been committed to excellence. The commitment has been evident in the choice of architects, in the willingness to engage with council and the community, and in a genuine, rather than tokenistic, commitment to public art.

As cities become denser, we seek to make them greener, more sustainable, and more beautiful places for people. Since we were elected in 2004, we have committed ourselves to creating a public city - with dignified streets, generous parks, and meaningful public art to express our time and place.

Frasers and Sekisui House have seen the value in that vision. They have committed to innovative and sustainable development, with water and energy-saving schemes, and generous provision of green space, setting a benchmark for other urban redevelopments.

And as Mr Abe has just outlined, they have made a generous commitment to public art, under the curatorship of Jenny Turpin and Michaelie Crawford.

Before that, for almost four years, the temporary Fraser Studios provided working and exhibition space for so many artists, and under Jenny and Michaelie's guidance, temporary, large-scale works have also enlivened the site.

Now those two great collaborators have their own work featured here. Their work is familiar to Sydney-siders, and much loved. It is always site-specific, always original and carefully though-through, always on a scale to reflect the energy and dynamism of Sydney.

Just last year, we unveiled Windlines, their Scouts memorial at Circular Quay. Another favourite is Tied to Tide in the park at Pyrmont Point and their 2002 collaboration on Stormwaters at Victoria Park.

As great public art should, all these pieces both reflect the spirit and energy of our city, while also defining a sense of place.

It's a tremendous piece, which will become emblematic of this very special, beautifully conceived and crafted redevelopment.

As a collaborative work, it also symbolises the collaboration - between the City, the developers, the architects and artists - that can produce an extraordinary urban precinct like Central Park.

I am really proud and happy to see what has been achieved here, and to offer my congratulations to Jenny and Michaelie.