June 17, 2021

Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks to go ahead despite protests

Sydney’s iconic fireworks display on New Year’s Eve will go-ahead despite calls for it to be cancelled due to the bushfire crisis.

The New South Wales (NSW) Rural Fire Service granted organisers an exemption from a total fire ban covering the region.

NSW has been ravaged by bushfires intensified by record-breaking temperatures and months of drought.

A number of fireworks displays across NSW have been cancelled.

Organisers of the Sydney display were urged to call off the demonstration and instead donate the money to farmers and the fire service.

A petition calling for the Sydney spectacle to be scrapped – saying it sent the wrong message at a time swathes of the country was suffering from bushfires – has gathered more than 270,000 signatures.

The petition said A$5.8m (£3m; $4m) was reportedly spent on fireworks in Sydney last year.

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NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro was among those calling for Tuesday’s display to be cancelled, saying it should be a “very easy decision”.

But Sydney’s lord mayor Clover Moore said doing so “would have little practical benefit”.

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