10:58, 26/02/2018: We are halfway through celebrating the Lunar New Year, or the Chinese New Year, depending on which side of the railway line you are on in Eastwood. We started on the previous weekend with a celebration of the 10th anniversary and a fabulous cooking competition. You have to have won the competition to be a judge. I was a judge. Geoff Lee, the member for Parramatta, was outstanding and won the competition the previous week amidst incredibly keen competition. On Saturday, we had the Ryde Lights festival at Eastwood where an incredible number of Chinese lanterns were lit after a fantastic display of Eastwood Has Talent. We had traditional dance, we had traditional music, we had lion dancing and it was a great event. The celebration of the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Dog, will be this coming weekend. We’re halfway through. We’ll have three weeks of celebration. All I can say is, ‘Kung Hei Fat Choy,’ which is my very best Chinese to say Happy New Year.
16:42: Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in the local Lunar New Year festivities of Bennelong. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the Eastwood Lunar New Year celebrations. Since 2008, our community has enjoyed the festivities of the Eastwood Lunar New Year celebrations, coming together to share in food, music, dance and merriment. It provides a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate our strong, diverse and vibrant multicultural community. Congratulations to Hugh Lee, chairman of the organising committee; Melissa Foong, vice-chair and MC; and Justin Li, honorary chair, for the successful events so far. Also, special thanks to the other members of the committee: Bonnie Lui, Jeffery Tse, Wilson Fu, Danny Yu, Koo Guan Choo, Greg Barclay, Anthony Ching, Andrew Hill, Joseph Sun, Esther Lee, Joe Yu, Tony Tang, Jay Heather and Roy Maggio. One of my favourite highlights of the celebration has always been the cooking competition—especially in the year that I won it, which qualified me to be the judge. It’s a tough job trying all of this delicious food. Well done to Geoff Lee, the member for Parramatta in the New South Wales parliament, for his winning dish; it was great. Congratulations also to Councillor Trenton Brown, who came a hard-fought second; and Alexandra and John Kolias of Mazzei’s Eastwood Pharmacy, who came third—a great team indeed. (Time expired)