Juanita Nielsen Community Centre Open Day

(10am 12 November 2011, Nicholson & Dowling Streets, Woolloomooloo)

Thank you, Alison Delaney and hello, everyone. I would like firstly to acknowledge the traditional custodians of our land and to pay my respects to the Elders, both past and present.

Welcome to the circus, everyone! I'm sure you've been enjoying the clowns and the terrific jazz.

The Juanita Nielsen Centre was named all those years ago for a great community activist, so it's fitting that it has become such a great centre for community activities.

Whether it's yoga or dance classes, cooking or karate, there's always something going on here.

There's a toy library and after-school and vacation care and some fantastic youth programs.

Absolutely everyone is welcome - Woolloomooloo locals, people from the Cross and Potts Point, and the homeless men who use the gym.

This is a very special part of our city, with a wonderful community spirit that is reflected in the warmth and friendliness that's always evident at the Centre.

Like other places, though, Woolloomooloo needs a little help from time to time and as you know we've done some work at both Bourke Street and Walla Mulla Parks this year.

They're now safer, greener and more attractive and I'm sure they're being put to good use. We've earmarked one of the historic old Sydney trams to be restored and brought to Bourke Street park as a men's shed.

I'm sure locals are happy to see the work we're doing to conserve the famous murals depicting the battle to save Woolloomooloo from wholesale redevelopment. They're a terrific reminder of what this community achieved in the face of heavy odds.

We're continuing to close Cowper Wharf Road on Friday and Saturday nights to counter-act the hoons and we've done some work in Nicholson Street to improve pedestrian access and made it safer with a raised pedestrian crossing.

And as a result of our continued efforts, Sydney Buses are now funding the Kings Cross community centre to provide transport for Elizabeth Bay people needing to attend doctors' appointments and so on and that can also be available for people in Woolloomooloo.

There's a lot to enjoy here today from the live art and the band to kids' games, raffles, and healthy food. It's wonderful to see you all here, and have a great day.