Sydney petitioned to cancel NYE fireworks display

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 4 December 2019

Sydney, Australia is one of the first places to usher in a new year and the city does it with flair, putting on arguably one of the most impressive New Year’s Eve fireworks displays in the world. Sydney Harbour, the steel-arched Sydney Harbour Bridge and the opera house and are bathed in colour as the sky explodes in a pyrotechnic celebration.

However, in the wake of the recent devastating bushfires that have killed six people and destroyed more than 670 homes, there have been calls to cancel the display. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, two smaller fireworks displays have been cancelled.

The Shellharbour Workers Club has cancelled its display ‘amid bushfire concerns’ and will donate $20,000 (about R200,000) towards fire relief efforts.

Australia’s Twin Towns Clubs & Resorts has also cancelled its fireworks show in northern New South Wales, at Tweed Heads, ‘out of respect for’ bushfire victims.

A series of petitions on have been calling for Sydney’s display to be cancelled and the money donated to the bushfire appeals.

Despite pressure to cancel the $5-million (about R50-million) display, Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore said, ‘Cancelling would be of little practical advantage to those who have lost so much in the bush[fires]’.

‘We are going through really tough times now and it brings us together to celebrate a new year with hope. It’s a really important time to be together to support each other.’

Also read: 13 spots to celebrate New Year’s Eve in SA

Organisers of the event have spent 15 months ‘perfecting the city’s New Year’s Eve display, with more than eight tonnes of fireworks and a huge lighting beam set to illuminate the sky,’ says the Herald.

‘The fires are horrific and they are an ominous warning of what a hotter, drier climate will mean for our country,’ the Lord Mayor told journalists.

She also pointed out, however, that many people have already spent money on flights, hotels and restaurants for the evening.

Moore said that currently, the ‘beautiful choreographed spectacular performance for the 9pm fireworks and for the 12am celebration’ would go ahead, ‘… but we will only do it if it’s the right thing to do at the time,’ she said.

According to The Canberra Times, Sydney’s council ‘has donated $620,000 (about R6,2-million) towards drought, bushfire and wildlife appeals and will encourage people to give to the Australian Red Cross disaster relief fund.’

Sydney New Year’s Eve schedule

7pm: Water display on Sydney Harbour

7.30pm: Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony on Sydney Harbour

8pm: Air display above Sydney Harbour by 2019 Red Bull Air Race World Champion Matt Hall

9pm: Family fireworks display
9.15pm: Harbour of Light parade
Midnight: Fireworks display

2am: Lighting display ends

Featured image: Trent Szmolni

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