WYD seeks Sydney harbour site for opening

Negotiations are under way between the Sydney Archdiocese and the New South Wales government to hold the opening mass of next year's World Youth Day on a stretch of Sydney waterfront with picturesque harbour views.

A 22-hectare container wharf site along East Darling Harbour known as The Hungry Mile, will be used for the Mass.

It is understood that the Church is close to signing an access agreement. The site will accommodate up to 150,000 pilgrims. It will also provide a dramatic and telegenic backdrop for the arrival of Pope Benedict by launch two days later.

Cardinal George Pell will preside at the first Mass on Tuesday 15 July. Organisers are also considering using the East Darling Harbour site as one of 14 city locations for the re-enactment of the stations of the cross pilgrims walk.

Negotiations between the church, Sydney Ports Corporation, the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and the State Government have been conducted out of the public eye, to avoid a repeat of the drama over use of the Royal Randwick Racecourse for the Pope's final vigil Mass.

At the 11th hour the Australian Jockey Club refused to sign an agreement for the use of the racecourse, after horse trainers threatened to sue for about $50 million in compensation.

The State Government says the six-day festival will be the largest gathering held in Australia, drawing almost as many international visitors as the Olympic Games in 2000.

Pilgrims to fill Hungry Mile (Sydney Morning Herald, 19/8/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Horses may stay at Randwick, trainers say (CathNews, 17/8/07)
Barangaroo (NSW Government)

Conversions off the WYD inter-faith agenda (CathNews, 16/8/07)
WYD to showcase faith potential to unite world (CathNews, 15/8/07)
Howard, Rudd promise $15 million more for WYD (CathNews, 13/8/07)
Condoms not on for WYD (CathNews, 30/7/07)
Love in the air for WYD (CathNews, 24/7/07)
Young Christians helping WYD pilgrims get piece of action (CathNews, 19/7/07)
Open hearts to WYD pilgrims, Fisher urges Sydney (CathNews, 17/7/07)
Can't lease Randwick for WYD, trainers tell club (CathNews, 11/7/07)
Randwick no place for pope, opines Cup winner Cummings (CathNews, 10/7/07)
Pope set to come, trainers to sue over WYD (CathNews, 5/7/07)
WYD Cross arrives amid Randwick turmoil (CathNews, 2/7/07)
Randwick trainers "emotional" over WYD compensation (CathNews, 29/6/07)
Trainers still jumpy about WYD (CathNews, 26/6/07)
Guy's WYD song to welcome cross and icon (CathNews, 25/6/07)
US leads Australia in WYD registrations (CathNews, 15/5/07)
Aussie idol to sing WYD theme song (CathNews, 14/5/07)
Give young people WYD opportunities, nuncio says (CathNews, 11/5/07)
Sydney airport can't handle all WYD visitors, Pell says (CathNews, 2/5/07)
Thousands already on way to WYD (CathNews, 30/4/07)
Trainers seek $12 million compo over Benedict's WYD visit (CathNews, 23/4/07)
Telstra chief signs on for WYD (CathNews, 20/4/07)
Tsunami town welcomes WYD cross (CathNews, 19/4/07)
WYD Cross to visit tsunami-hit Gizo (CathNews, 5/4/07)
WYD Cross at N Korea border (CathNews, 1/3/07)

20 Aug 2007