NSW Parliament gives assent to WYD enabling legislation

In the wake of logistical challenges faced by previous World Youth Day host cities, the NSW parliament has passed a law creating an authority with powers to override existing traffic, environmental and planning measures for the duration of the Sydney 2008 youth gathering.

The World Youth Day Act 2006 which was passed by both Houses of the NSW Parliament in November became law after receiving Royal Assent last week.

The new Act constitutes a World Youth Day (WYD) Coordination Authority which will "provide for the co-operation of other government agencies in the planning, co-ordination and delivery of government services in relation to World Youth Day 2008 and related events".

According to Explanatory Notes provided by the NSW Government, the main objects of the Act are to develop policies, strategies and plans relating to government services for World Youth Day events, and to empower the new Authority "to give directions to government agencies" involved in the WYD program.

The Act also enacts specific traffic management provisions in relation to events, venues and facilities.

It also ensures "that activities and land uses associated with World Youth Day events can be carried out despite the requirements of other legislation such as the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and the Local Government Act 1993", the Explanatory Notes say.

The special provisions will last for the "World Youth Day period" which is defined to cover the month of July 2008.

WYD Toronto in 2002 was affected by a range of logistical problems, primarily transportation and food. WYD in Cologne last year also suffered from serious traffic and logistical problems.

Sydney's Randwick Racecourse was named in October as the site of the celebration's closing Mass with Pope Benedict. The event will also involve a walk across Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge.

WYD organisers are anticipating up to 500,000 pilgrims, including 125,000 international visitors, to flock Sydney city in July 2008.

World Youth Day Bill (New South Wales Parliament)
World Youth Day Bill, Explanatory Notes

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
World Youth Day 2008

WYD08 in call for new generation of young leaders (CathNews, 2/11/06)
Charismatic Canadian bishop arrives to activate WYD school campaign (CathNews, 24/10/06)
Bridge walk for WYD08 pilgrims (6/10/06)
Musos to compete for WYD theme song (3/10/06)
World Youth Day sets up shop (CathNews, 27/9/06)
Sydney stretched for WYD08 space (CathNews, 25/9/06)
Married priests on agenda for new Eastern Rite bishops association (CathNews, 30/8/06)
Oceania bishops voice concern on climate change, AIDS (Cathnews, 15/8/06)
More places needed as 25,000 Americans expected for WYD08 (CathNews, 2/8/06)
Think big for WYD: NZ bishop (CathNews, 28/7/06)
Bishop Fisher unveils WYD plan (CathNews, 10/7/06)

Preparing for World Youth Day 2005 (The word from Rome, National Catholic Reporter, 18/4/03)
We Are Church: World Youth Day Has To Be Measured At Its Openness To Dialogue (We are the Church, 5/8/05)

4 Dec 2006