A row erupted in the New South Wales (NSW) parliament on Wednesday over claims that the city's world-class Chinese New Year celebrations could be cancelled due to construction of a light rail system in the CBD.
The annual parade in the main George St, attended by more than 130,000 spectators, would be compromised by the construction of the light rail network, opposition politicians said in the parliament.
The opposition Labor party's Walt Secord asked Liberal government Roads Minister Duncan Gay a question without notice in NSW parliament.
"What is the Government's response to community concerns that the world-famous Chinese New Year twilight parade, attended by more than 130,000 visitors, will be cancelled?" he asked.
"You're killing the year of the monkey."
The minister replied: "Whilst ever the honorable member Walt Secord is alive, the year of the monkey is alive and well."
He later said Transport NSW has offered to work with all parties to "ensure we can welcome in the year of the monkey with the cultural flair Sydney is famous for," it was reported by local media outlets.