By NSW Premier Mike Baird @MikeBairdMP.
It was good to see so many familiar faces at the recent Multicultural Community Reception held at Parliament House.
More than 200 representatives of cultural and religious organisations, consular officials, business leaders and members of the community media attended the reception, which was held to welcome John Ajaka into his new role as the state’s Minister for Multiculturalism.
Mr Ajaka has taken over from Victor Dominello and since being appointed has been meeting with the hundreds of groups and organisations who represent the state’s ethnic communities. The reception was a good opportunity for the Minister to mingle with the groups he now has the responsibility of representing at the Cabinet table and I look forward to hearing from him on the progress he makes.
On other issues, there will be some temporary changes to the way people access Wynyard Station in the Sydney CBD from Sunday 14 June as part of a $100 million upgrade.
We’re upgrading Wynyard to create a new gateway to Sydney’s financial district, delivering a lighter, brighter, cleaner station with increased capacity for the future. It’s one of the busiest stations on Sydney’s rail network and, with more than 33,000 visitors expected to visit Barangaroo each day, demand at the station is expected to significantly increase over the next 20 years.
The upgrade will provide a less cluttered concourse and wider ticket gate area and will result in new lighting, tiling, a fresh coat of paint and new signage. These changes will make it easier for customers to access the station and move around once inside.
Staff will be on hand to help when the works start on Sunday 14 June, however we’re also asking the public to allow for extra walking time for their journeys. The Wynyard Station upgrade is expected to open to customers in late 2016 and is one of a number of projects that are getting underway to improve public transport access in the CBD. Work is underway to deliver the $306 million Wynyard Walk project and a new Ferry Hub at Barangaroo, providing vital connections to the new Barangaroo development.
Finally, Vivid Sydney has wrapped up for another year.
The world’s biggest festival of light, music and ideas attracted record crowds last year and it was good to see so many people out and about again this year to see the stunning displays at Circular Quay, The Rocks, Walsh Bay, Darling Harbour, Martin Place and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This year we also introduced new precincts at Chippendale and Chatswood and most of the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
Events like Vivid showcase Sydney to the world and are great for local hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars. Just six years ago, Vivid Sydney welcomed 225,000 people throughout the festival’s entire duration, while this year, we know almost 280,000 spectators came to experience opening weekend alone so I look forward to seeing the final results for what’s shaping up as the biggest festival yet.