(11.30am, Tuesday 22 October 2013, Corner George & Campbell Sts)
Thank you, [MC]. Good morning, everyone. It's great to see you all here. 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.
I'm also pleased to acknowledge:
- H.E. Mr. Maris Sangiamponsa, Ambassador of Thailand
- Mr. Biravij Suwanpradesh, Consul General of Thailand
- Mr. Kiattikhun Chartprasert, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand,
- Mr. Suvit Khunkitti, former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand,
- Mr. Charles Casuscelli MP,representing the NSW Minister for Citizenship and Communities
- Mr. Alvaro Barba, Dean of the Consular Corps of New South Wales.
This marks an historic day for Sydney.
It's the day when we recognise formally the richness and diversity of Asian cultures with our thriving Chinatown now being joined by Korea-town and Thai-town. And while these cultures all come together for our Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations, it seemed fitting, when we were asked, to agree to install this official Thai signage.
It recognises the growing significance of the Thai community and the many Thai businesses operating in our City.
Among those, of course, are many wonderful food businesses, and they are taking part in our month-long promotion during October of Asia on Your Doorstep.
Universally food is recognised as a gateway to a culture - and Thai food is especially delicious and very much loved by Australians.
Eighteen Thai restaurants are taking part in this year's event and the City will be conducting special media tours of the area to familiarise the media with the diversity of this area, including the emergence of Thai town.
Also this year, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is generously sponsoring a prize for customers dining at any participating restaurant this month.
It would be a fabulous prize to win since it offers a tourism package to Thailand for two people. It includes airfares from Sydney and between Bangkok and Chang Mai, accommodation, ground transportation, sightseeing and cooking classes in Bangkok.
With a prize like that on offer, I'm sure the customers have been flocking in, and I thank the Tourism Authority for its generosity.
I'm delighted to see this new signage in place as a recognition of the diversity of our Sydney community, and of this wonderful contribution made by our Thai residents and businesses.