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new year's 2009

About 2000 all-night revellers mingled among garbage trucks and street sweepers to watch the sun rise over Bondi Beach this morning in a mellow end to Sydney's New Year's Eve celebrations.

Council workers all over the city were among the first - and freshest - to greet 2009 as the annual clean-up of beaches, streets and parks began in earnest.

Waverley Council garbage collectors weaved in and out of dedicated revellers, amorous couples and early morning surfers at Bondi, while in Manly, garbage trucks outnumbered partygoers just before 5.30am.

Piles of beer bottles, cardboard cartons and fast food packaging lined the kerbs of the CBD and Kings Cross.

But Surry Hills police reported a busy yet uneventful night and early morning in the party-going "hot spot".

"There hasn't sort of been any major incidents at this stage," Surry Hills duty officer, Inspector Paul Jones, said.

"We had one high-range [prescribed concentration of alcohol], and there's always people who've had a bit too much to drink and jumped in a car not calculating right how long it takes for the alcohol to get out of their systems."

Inspector Jones said additional police had been rostered on this morning to help deal with the "leftovers" expected to pour out of Kings Cross nightclubs.

"Often their state of sobriety is not so good," he said.

City-wide more than 70 people were arrested on more than 100 charges in the Sydney metropolitan area.

But Assistant Commissioner Catherine Burn said, for the most part, their offences were less serious and less violent than in previous years.

"The arrest figures are a positive result when you consider the numbers of people celebrating the New Year in Sydney's CBD, as well as in suburbs throughout the metro area," Assistant Commissioner Burn said.

"Of the estimated 3000 vessels on Sydney Harbour overnight, Marine Area Command officers detected only a few people under the influence of alcohol."

Two glassing incidents are being investigated in the CBD and one man sustained serious head injuries during a brawl outside a restaurant, also in the city.

Paramedics were kept busy with more than 1000 calls for help between 6pm and 4am.

Two motorcyclists are in a serious condition in NSW hospitals after crashes in Lane Cove and St Clair, northwest of Newcastle.

And a 23-year-old man is being treated for a serious head injury in St Vincents Hospital after falling four to five metres down a drain in Vaucluse.

But back on Bondi Beach, the remaining revellers reported a cracking night out.

Self-described Essex boy, Cash Lenette, said he flew out of London four days ago and hadn't stopped drinking since.

"I woke up [in Essex] and it was cold, miserable and wet and I thought, you know what, how about me and my mates go to Australia," Lenette said.

"I booked my tickets two weeks ago and flew out on the 28th and last night I had the best time of my life."

source - smh.com.au
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