(7pm, Thursday 6 December 2012, Pitt Street Mall)
Thank you, Stephen [Gilby, MC]. Hello, everyone, welcome. I'd 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.
Tonight, we're marking the completion of the final stage of the Pitt Street Mall refurbishment when we switch on the new catenary lighting and give the mall its finishing touch.
The Westfield re-build gave us the opportunity to reinvigorate the mall as Sydney's premier retail destination.
An astonishing 65,000 pedestrians come through here every day, making it the busiest retail precinct in Sydney.
And all those people need to find a welcoming place, somewhere they can sit, find shade, meet friends, enjoy the scene.
So our re-design provides new paving and more and better seating, and four new drinking fountains.
There are also new trees at the Market Street end, and we're diverting stormwater off the awnings to the tree pits, and we've used sustainable materials in the construction.
And of course, the lighting is energy efficient, and it can be programmed to create special effects and in this lead up to Christmas, it will feature three Christmas lighting displays. It's the perfect time to launch it as busy Pitt Street Mall gets even busier and buzzier in the Christmas season.
I want to thank everyone involved in this project, helping make the heart of our city a better place for people.
From the City of Sydney, thanks to Russell Kosko and Maren Parry.
Thanks to Architects - Tony Caro & Associates, and for the construction, Westfield, Ronstan, Pacific Rigging, and 3s Lighting.
I also would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you, and your families and friends, a very happy Christmas and great New Year.