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World Youth Day Sydney 2008 Gets NSW Govt Support

World Youth Day Sydney 2008

World Youth Day Sydney 2008 today welcomed confirmation of the NSW Government's in-kind support for the largest event to be held in Australia since the 2000 Olympics.

"World Youth Day 2008 is one of the best value international events Sydney could stage," said Chief Operating Officer, Danny Casey.

"The $86 million in services contributed by the NSW Government will help to inject $231 million into the State's economy according to the Sydney Chamber of Commerce. In addition, it is clear that World Youth Day will deliver enormous long term tourism and economic benefits.

WYD08 will bring 185,000 international and domestic visitors to Sydney in July. With the 40,000 Sydneysiders who register and the tens of thousands who participate, it will be the biggest event in Australia's history in terms of participants.

"The State Government's contribution is significant and deeply appreciated but much lower than the contribution made to other comparable international events Australia has hosted - for example, $600 million was committed by the Victorian Government on the 2006 Commonwealth Games," Mr Casey said.

"While the costing and delivery of NSW Government services is has always been a matter for Government, WYD 2008 has always worked closely to minimise these costs.

"Sydney is a great host city and the Sydney public understands that major international events such as World Youth Day can only be held here with the support and cooperation of government.

"WYD08 could not have come to Sydney without the NSW Government's leadership and encouragement and, indeed, the bid relied upon firm commitments of Government support. The support of the Federal Government was also indispensable and much appreciated.

"It is a Catholic event that is open to all. The benefits will be significant and enjoyed by the entire community. It will help to renew the values that make Australia a fair and decent society and showcase to the world how religion can help build peace and friendship between people.

"Our beautiful city will feature on more than a billion TV screens around the world as we host Pope Benedict XVI and young people from more than 170 nations."

Since its creation by Pope John Paul II in 1986, World Youth Day has become a major international occasion that has delivered some of the largest gatherings of young people the world has ever seen.

"The goodwill and guidance it will generate for our young people are invaluable and cannot be measured simply in dollar terms," Mr Casey said.

"We are confident that this will be a wonderful time for all Australians."

Sydney will host the 23rd World Youth Day from 15-20 July, an event that will also mark the first visit to Australia by Pope Benedict XVI.

ENDS

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