(7pm 24 August 2011, Quarter 21, Level 5, Westfield)
Thank you, Sandra Hook, CEO News Magazines and hello, everyone. I would like firstly to acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, and pay my respects to the Elders, both past and present.
In only its second year in Sydney, Vogue Fashion Night Out is shaping up to be even more compelling than it was in its debut year - and that was an outstanding success.
Retail and fashion are important facets of Sydney's tremendous and diverse creative sector, and a thriving retail industry is also a vital part of our economy.
At last count, the sector employed over 14 per cent of our workforce, it accounted for 37 per cent of all businesses, and it occupied 13 per cent of all floor space across the local government area.
It is the largest retail sector in Australia, and it continues to broaden and deepen the scope of its offerings, making our CBD a lively and engaging place to work, and to visit.
Last year, we formed our Retail Advisory Panel to link the industry with the City and the NSW Government to provide informed advice and a forum for raising issues of concern to the industry.
The City of Sydney is delighted to further our support through our sponsorship of Vogue Fashion Night Out - making us one of 17 world cities year holding the event in 2011.
It reaffirms our place as Australia's face to the world, and one of the most innovative, creative and lively cities in the Asia-Pacific.
I'm pleased to hear that this year, Sydney will expand on the 2010 Fashion Night Out, being two hours longer and involving about a third more retailers than last year.
That's a tribute to Vogue's leadership and expertise in creating an outstanding event, and to the terrific spirit among our retailers who'll be hosting live performances, fashion parades, special window displays and other activities for the evening of September 8.
So congratulations and thanks to Kirstie Clements and everyone at Vogue, and thank you to all the retailers and partners here tonight for your support. It's the power of your combined efforts that help fuel the vibrant retail community that is such a vital component of the Sydney CBD.
Thank you all.