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Thursday, 16 February 2012
Page: 1645


Mr DANBY (Melbourne Ports) (13:55): The St Kilda Festival started in 1980 as a community event for Melbourne and as an opportunity to showcase the cultural side of our sometimes raucous suburb. Thirty-two years later the festival is one of Australia's oldest dedicated music festivals, bringing 400,000 people in Melbourne together and celebrating the best of St Kilda, Melbourne and Australia. The St Kilda Festival is a nine-day event that has evolved over the years and now contains three components: Yalukit Willam Ngargee, a dedicated celebration of Indigenous arts and culture; Live N Local, which features seven days of local bands and local venues honouring St Kilda's culture and history; and Festival Sunday, the festival conclusion, which is Victoria's largest community celebration and one of Melbourne's few remaining street festivals. There are 60 bands, six stages and 400,000 people. Festival Sunday is free, making sure that all Melburnians and visitors can access Australia's best musical talent. The day brings out the eclectic and creative side of Melbourne.

I thank the current leader of the city of Port Phillip, Mayor Rachel Powning, the city council and the staff and employees of the city for making this remarkable festival of music and the arts a great success. After standing on a balcony of one of the local hotels last weekend listening to Archie Roach, I can tell members that Melbourne was alive and throbbing. The St Kilda Festival is a major festival of our great city.