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SPEECH: Haymarket Chamber of Commerce

It’s a great pleasure to join you tonight at this special spring networking event.

This is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the revival of businesses as we all work together to develop and strengthen our commercial ties and industry networks.

We also gather to congratulate the many efforts of the chamber, its leadership and its members.

I last spoke to you all while celebrating the Lunar New Year of the Tiger, which has brought good luck to business developments and investments in the Haymarket area.

Here’s the great news - there are several plans to rejuvenate the unique Haymarket precinct and the NSW Government is doing everything we can to help.

At the end of January, the NSW Government announced a new, $1 billion support package intended to help keep the doors of many businesses open.

We put this package together to support you - our community business leaders.

We also offered a Small Business Support Program to help businesses, particularly in this area, survive the immediate impacts of Omicron and keep workers employed.

And so far this year, we’ve had more than 4,000 cafes and small food outlets register for our Alfresco Restart Rebate of up to $5,000.

We are confident that our support for businesses has ensured that we have come through the other side stronger than ever.

Especially as we once again welcome tourists, international students and business travellers.

However, the investment in the Haymarket local area does not end here.

I have called for Chinatown to have a new cultural hub that highlights the contributions of Chinese people living in Australia.

And after much lobbying, I am incredibly pleased that Arts Minister Ben Franklin has partnered with me to deliver this important hub.

In late July, we were thrilled to announce funding of $2.28 million to help establish the Museum of Chinese in Australia, at the old Haymarket Library site.

This facility has a longstanding history in the Chinse community.

And it is only fitting that it be converted to reflect this rich history, and to celebrate the future contributions of Chinese Australians.

I am passionate about delivering for our local communities.

And this funding will help refurbish the building and launch a project which promises to become one of Sydney’s greatest tourist attractions.

More importantly, it will acknowledge the amazing contributions to Australian history by migrants of Chinese descent.

Likewise, significant confidence in Haymarket’s long-term prospects has been shown by three new multi-million-dollar hotel developments in the precinct.

The new hotels are expected to help the revitalisation of this historic precinct, which is still home to hundreds of family-owned businesses.

I thank the hard-working members of the Haymarket Chamber of Commerce for bringing everyone together to celebrate spring.

I see a really bright future for Haymarket.

And I am working hard in government to push for the revitalisation of this wonderful area, which is the epicentre of Sydney’s cultural and commercial success.