(6.30pm, Monday 26 November 2012, Lord Mayors Reception Room, Sydney Town Hall)
Good evening, everyone, and welcome. I would like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nations who live in our City.
I'm pleased you could be here this evening. Firstly, because it gives me an opportunity to personally thank you, and your organisations, for your support for Sydney New Year's Eve.
This is our premier event, broadcast around the world, projecting Sydney as the beautiful, creative, safe and innovative city it is. And as Events NSW has estimated, its economic value to the city is well over $150 million, giving an important boost to businesses both small and large.
But it would not, and could not, happen without your support, so on behalf of the City, heartfelt thanks to all of you.
I'm also glad you're here tonight because it gives you the opportunity to get a taste of the inspirational celebrations that have been planned for New Year's Eve 2012.
As I'm sure you're aware, our creative agency, Imagination, have engaged the global super star Kylie Minogue as our creative Ambassador. She'll bring her extraordinary skills to the mix, and of course we have the amazing Fortunato Foti once again devising a dazzling fireworks display.
In a moment, Heath Campanaro, of Imagination will reveal some of this year's highlights.
I would just like to add that the Lord Mayor's Picnic, held in the Botanic Gardens in the lead-up to the 9pm fireworks, continues as an important part of our celebrations.
It gives 1,000 children with special needs the chance to celebrate with their carers in one of the most beautiful places in our City. And on their behalf, I thank you again for your support.
Finally, I'd like to say how proud I am that this event - which presents Sydney to the world - is this year promoting Australian creativity from start to finish, through our creative team and our in-house production team
It's a timely reminder of the depth and breadth of creativity we have here as we face the chances and challenges that 2013 will undoubtedly bring.
So once again, many thanks to all of you, and please enjoy this evening.