Sydney is set to go ahead with its world-famous NYE fireworks, despite a petition with hundreds of thousands of signatories calling for them to be canceled.
The petition was started last month in light of the recent bushfire disaster.
It requests that the $5.8 million spent on the display be redirected to bushfire and drought relief services, the former of which has been vocal about their underfunding.
“All states should say NO to FIREWORKS. This may traumatize some people as there is enough smoke in the air”, reads the petition.
NYE fireworks displays have already been canceled around NSW, and similar lobbying in QLD resulted in the cancellation of the firework display in Surfers Paradise.
However, despite concessions elsewhere, City Of Sydney has indicated that the display will go ahead as is customary.
“We are of the firm view that Sydney New Year’s Eve should not be canceled,” said Tanya Goldberg, Head of Audience for Major Events and Festivals at the City of Sydney.
“Preparation for these celebrations begun 15 months ago, which means most of the budget largely used for crowd safety has already been spent.”
Check out last years edition of the fireworks below
Despite defying the signatures of over 250,000 people, COS has indicated that it will be promoting the Red Cross Disaster Recovery and Relief Fund during the celebrations, as well as donating over $600,000 to support areas and organizations effected by both the fires and drought.
In addition, the major coverage of the display, as well as the millions (yep, MILLIONS) of people who trek into the CBD to watch the spectacle would cause serious financial damage to small businesses and other organizations that rely upon the revenue generated by NYE on the harbor.
“Cancelling would seriously hurt Sydney businesses and particularly in the wake of recent reports of à weaker retail season, and would also ruin plans for thousands of people who have come from across the country and overseas and have made their plans”, said Ms Goldberg.
“The opportunity to come together and celebrate…a little happiness and a sense of togetherness is arguably even more important than ever.”
The Sydney NYE fireworks display attracts a TV audience of over 1 Billion and generates millions of dollars into the City of Sydney.
Total fire bans will be in place across the state tomorrow, with a decision still to be made regarding the 31st.
If you’re in two minds to go to the fireworks, or if your not based in Sydney, check out our guide of how you can have a great NYE here.