Celebrations are well under-way for Chinese New Year. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

SBS has a comprehensive list of event’s in Australia. Adelaide’s  big day is today, the 28th January with Moonta Street the focus of attention. View a great video of celebrations in Beijing and images from the BBC.

The dragon year brings with it forecasts of wealth and prosperity. The Business Review says there will be a “much-needed economic boost to the retail sector, particularly in the luxury goods department.” The Australian reports a record number of Visa’s to Chinese visitors. Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson said the growth of tourists from China had been 20 per cent a year for the past two years. Chinese tennis superstar Li Na is reportedly responsible for a huge rise in ticket sales to the Australian Open.

Locally, Premier Jay Weatherall said “China remained important to the state’s economic future but the rest of Asia was expected to achieve rapid growth in the coming decades.”  Francis Wong has declared an intention to run for Mayor and says “we need to create more confidence to attract more people to invest in the city.”

It’s a great time of the year to discuss the progress of Australia’s Chinatowns. Sydney is looking for an “artist to develop an overarching concept to guide the design a new public space in Thomas Street, Chinatown.” Background information on the project can be found at The Chinatown Public Domain Plan. Also as part of Sydney’s 20 milion Chinatown spruce up is the transformation of Kimber Lane.