(2.30pm, Thursday 21 November 2013, Lord Mayor's Reception Room)
Hello, everyone, welcome to our Round-Table. I want to thank you all for your support in working with us on OPEN Sydney. It has helped build the momentum to make the real changes Sydney needs.
OPEN Sydney was endorsed by Council in February this year as a long term strategy and action plan to transform our City at night.
An initial, and obvious concern was alcohol-related violence but also the mono-culture which helped to generate it. We wanted to provide a much wider range of choices that would appeal to a broad cross-section of the community, and to people of all ages.
For more than two years, we've researched the issues and talked to all those involved in order to deliver on our Sustainable Sydney 2030 commitment to a lively, well-connected city, with active fine-grain areas, a city that is economically robust, but also inviting, engaging and safe, by day and by night.
OPEN Sydney has been a key contributor to the progress that's been made so far.
But some recent tragic incidents tell us there is still a long way to go. Only a couple of weeks ago, a young tourist from Brazil died after being king-hit on a City street. So violence remains a serious issue and we are working closely with the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation to find practical ways to deal with it to ensure our streets are safe.
We have made a submission to the NSW Governments on amendments to the Liquor Act and as you know, the State has now committed to improving late night transport as part of the City Access Plan.
We've developed a Wayfinding Strategy that will make the city more legible for visitors, a draft public toilet strategy, and we've introduced 24-hour cleansing in Kings Cross on Friday and Saturday nights.
In cooperation with the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors we've released a national report on the economic benefits of the late night economy which underline its importance for our cities.
We believe that more choices and greater diversity will make for a safer night-time city, with that very diversity attracting a wider range of people and age groups.
This year, we've developed a Cultural Policy and an Economic Development Strategy - the latter looking at tourism and retail - as ways of promoting greater diversity and safety and our 101 Workshops continue to attract young entrepreneurs eager to cater to new audiences .
The Live Music Task Force we commissioned last December has reported and we now have an action plan to promote live music in the City and in addition to our own City-sponsored events like Chinese New Year, individuals and groups are generating their own local events such as the wildly successful BEAMS Festival in Chippendale.
So once again, thank you for your support. And today, we will present to you our work so far on OPEN Sydney and you'll also be given a presentation of the Citizens' Jury being convened by newDemocracy to deal with the question of how to ensure a safe and vibrant Sydney at night. And finally there's a presentation from the Art Gallery of NSW on their fabulous pioneering Art After Hours program.
I hope you'll find the presentations both useful and inspiring.