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Sydney New Years Eve Rainbow waterfall heralds new dawn for equality

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A rainbow waterfall of fireworks will cascade from Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of this year’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the dramatic technicolour fireworks would confirm Sydney as the New Year’s Eve capital of the world and celebrate Australians saying ‘Yes’ to marriage equality.

"This is a fabulous way to see out 2017 – the year that four out of five Sydneysiders said a resounding 'Yes' to marriage equality," the Lord Mayor said.

"The rainbow waterfall is a well-earnt tribute to the Sydney 78ers who marched for gay rights 40 years ago – it's a reminder of how far we have come and how far we have left to achieve true equality for our LGBTI community. It's a wonderful way to ring in the New Year, and celebrate the 40th anniversary of Mardi Gras.

"With more fireworks than ever before, this year's Sydney NYE celebration guarantees to be the biggest, brightest and best in the world.

"Sydney New Year's Eve contributes an estimated $133 million to the local economy and puts Sydney on the map as a global city for tourism, business, events and creativity on every level."

It takes Sydney fireworks director Fortunato Foti and the crew from Sydney family company Foti Fireworks International more than 5,000 hours to create the New Year's Eve display.

"The challenge this year was to create never-before-seen displays. Out of this we've created some great effects that I'm looking forward to sharing with the people of Sydney and the world," Mr Foti said.

"This waterfall effect is a first for the bridge and we've chosen the rainbow colours that work best for fireworks: red, yellow, green, blue, purple and silver."

Mr Foti says there will be more than 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects on the night, setting a new record for the annual event's 9pm and midnight displays, with:

8 tonnes of fireworks – 1 tonne more than in 2016
13,000 shells – 1,000 more than 2016
30,000 shooting comets – 5,000 more than 2016

Inner-Sydney artist Nadia Hernández is the creative artist for this New Year's Eve and a series of bright artwork designs have inspired vibrant colour palette for the fireworks.

This year the 9pm and midnight firework display and the dramatic lighting effects beamed from the Sydney Harbour Bridge will feature new pastel shades, including bright orange, pink, lime green and light blue.

Her artwork designs also feature inspirational words, including wonder, harmony, hope and together, which will feature in the animations projected onto the harbour bridge pylons on the night.

"I included these words in the New Year's Eve artworks because they reflect my love of Sydney and send a positive message of hope for Australia and the world as we move into a new year," Ms Hernández said.

"The words and colours are all about what a wonderful place Sydney is in summer – spending time outdoors with family and with friends – and that sums up New Year's Eve in Sydney, too.

"It's such an honour to have been chosen by the City to be the creative artist for New Year's Eve. This project really has been a dream come true for me."

This year the Welcome to Country will include a tribute marking the 50th anniversary of the Sydney-San Francisco sister city relationship that will be celebrated in 2018.

A message from the Muwekma Ohlone peoples of the San Francisco Bay area will be projected onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons at the close of the evening's Welcome to Country.

Sydney New Year’s Eve creative consultant Rhoda Roberts AO said the message marked a close connection between the two cities' First Peoples.

"There is a lovely connection between Sydney and San Francisco – both cities are very similar in their geography and both cities have a strong and vibrant Indigenous culture," Ms Roberts said.

"There's a great synergy between the histories of the First Peoples of these two great cities. The language, the stories and the rituals of the Indigenous peoples here and in San Francisco have survived recognised and honoured, and are still strong today."

At the close of New Year's Eve Welcome to Country, the following words in the language of the Muwekma Ohlone people will appear: "Makkin Mak Muwekma Wolwoolum, Akkoy Mak-Warep, Manne Mak Hiswi!", which translates: "We Are Muwekma Ohlone, Welcome To Our Land, Where We Are Born, San Francisco Bay Area".

San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee said the city was proud to be Included in Sydney's New Year's Eve celebrations.

"We are honored that 2018 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the founding of our Sister City friendship which has built common understanding, cooperation and partnership across the Pacific," Mayor Lee said.

"In January our San Francisco delegation will be visiting your beautiful city and joining with your citizens in celebrating 50 years of friendship and to set the foundation for another 50 years of citizen diplomacy.”


The 2017 New Year’s program highlights include:

6pm Pre-show entertainment
8.38pm Welcome to Country ceremony
9pm Family fireworks display
9.15pm Harbour of Light Parade
midnight Spectacular 2017 Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks display

Getting in and out of the city centre is different on New Year’s Eve. There will be road closures, on-street fencing and diversions to help people get around safely and move crowds to transport. Visit sydneynewyearseve.com for detailed information.

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Sydney gears up for what will be Australia's largest YES vote rally.

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Groups and individuals across the state are preparing to converge on Sydney's Town Hall tomorrow (Sunday 10th Sept) from 1pm to commence a rally and then a march down to Customs House at Circular Quay in support of the YES vote for Marriage Equality.

Recently the Australian city of Melbourne held a massive rally where the city turned out in force to show its support to treat all citizens equally - but predictions for Sydney, since the postal ballot was passed by the High Court, show that many more people will be turning out to make sure the YES voice is heard and seen.  From community groups to families, individuals and couples, it's going to be a massive event.

Speakers that will address the rally include supportive politicians, activists, and campaigners - all of whom have played a massive part in the long - very long - campaign for equality.

Make sure you head on down and show the country that YES is a supportive, respective and positive campaign.

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Hawkesbury Council backs Marriage Equality

Western Sydney's Hawkesbury Council tonight voted to support Marriage Equality.

It seemed that it might not get up seeing as The Mayor who previously had voted against writing to the Prime Minister in support of marriage equality and against flying the rainbow flag for Mardi Gras (stating he was a staunch Catholic and therefore against it) but he changed his mind and put up a Mayoral Minute asking Council to support marriage equality at tonight's meeting.

Greens Clr Leigh Williams amended the Mayoral minute and the following motion passed.

● Council supports marriage equality

● Council opposes the imposition and cost of $162 million non-binding plebiscite to achieve marriage equality and would prefer an immediate parliamentary vote on the matter. Should the government proceed with a plebiscite, Council resolves to support the Yes campaign.

● Council seeks to engage with the local LBGTIQ community with the aim of working with them to campaign for marriage equality.

 

The vote went down as follows:

 

Supported

Leigh Williams - Greens

Barry Calvet - Labor

Tiffany Tree - Liberal

Paul Rasmussen - independent

Christine Paine - independent

Mary Lyons-Buckett - independent

Mike Creed - Liberal

Kim Ford - Liberal (Mayor)

 

Opposed

Jill Reardon - Liberal

Warwick McKay - independent  (Deputy Mayor)

Patrick Connolly - Liberal

 

Absent

Bob Porter - independent

 

Congratulations to the people of Hawkesbury. Many New South Wales councils (that were not force amalgamated by Mike Baird) will go to a vote on Saturday September 10.  Local councils do have a huge impact on resources and social policy for LGBTQI communities - so make sure your vote counts.

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P!NK is glad to be a gay

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Singer Pink was all business as she arrived at The Metro today to do a soundcheck for her ‘Secret Show’ tonight in Sydney, Australia.

Meanwhile, she’s barely been out of the country for a day and the punk popstress is already making headlines. She tells Aussie media that she doesn’t mind people thinking she is gay, in fact she even feels “proud” of it!!

“I’m proud people think I’m gay,” says the So What singer.“Everyone has always thought I was gay because of the tattoos, the short hair, the attitude. But I don’t care. I love to challenge people’s preconceptions.”

Pink also spoke about how gay people don’t have equal rights in the U.S., as she continues: “Loads of my friends are lesbians and it really annoys me that gay people aren’t allowed to get married in most parts of America. I’d go on a march for gay rights any time.”
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