NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell tonight joined members of the Chinese-Australian community at a special lighting of the Sydney Opera House sails as part of Lunar New Year celebrations.
Mr O’Farrell was joined by event sponsor Yuhu Group Chairman, Huang Xiangmo, Minister for Citizenship and Communities, Victor Dominello, and Oatley MP, Mark Coure, at the Overseas Passenger Terminal for the ceremony.
Mr O’Farrell and the Chinese Consul General, Li Huaxin, activated the lasers that turned the Opera House’s sails red to mark the start of the Year of the Horse.
“To see the sails of the Opera House bathed in ‘China red’ is an impressive sight against the backdrop of one of the world’s greatest harbours,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“Sydney plays host to the biggest Chinese New Year celebration outside of China and this has become an event the NSW community looks forward to each year.
“The warm and cooperative relationship between NSW and China is underpinned by significant contribution successive generations of Chinese migrants have made to Sydney and New South Wales.
“The NSW Government remains committed to increasing the trade, tourism and cultural relationships between NSW and China.
“China is our largest trading partner and is the State’s leading tourism market, with more tourists arriving in NSW from China than from any other country.
“2014 is the year of the Horse, which is said to be clever, powerful, and spirited. I hope we all embrace those qualities over the next 12 months.”
Mr Dominello said the people of NSW have benefited greatly from the cultural, economic, and philanthropic contributions of generations of Chinese Australians.
“NSW is home to 380,000 Chinese-Australians who are integral to our multicultural fabric, and I wish the Chinese community a safe and prosperous year ahead.
“The NSW Government would like to thank Yuhu Group for funding the event, which will see the Sydney Opera House bathed in China red over the next two nights.”