How Sydney’s world famous fireworks display could be VERY different this year – with revellers forced to watch the spectacle from their own homes
- Sydney’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks could be axed in favour of a televised event
- The spectacle could be celebrated with a historic compilation of previous years
- Revellers would be moved from public parks to private homes and pubs
- That’s the pitch of Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore to government officials
- But NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrotet still wants the iconic event to go ahead
Sydney’s iconic fireworks display could be scrapped in favour of a televised event as organisers struggle with coronavirus restrictions.
The spectacle would be celebrated with a historic compilation of the city’s fireworks shows from the past 16 years in place of a multi million dollar pyrotechnics show.
Vision would be accompanied with performances from Australian artists.
While revellers would be be shifted from public parks and harbour foreshores to private homes and pubs to watch the show.
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Sydney’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks (pictured on January 1, 2020) could be scrapped in favour of a televised event
A group of young women dance in the street on New Year’s eve 2019
That’s the plan being spruiked by Lord Mayor Clove Moore over fears any mass gathering could spark a coronavirus outbreak.
The idea was raised during a planning meeting with state government officials on Friday over how to revitalise Sydney over summer.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clove Moore (pictured) wants the fireworks cancelled and celebrations moved indoors over COVID-19 fears
Ms Moore has repeatedly told state government officials it’s too high a risk to put an event on like previous years, reported the Daily Telegraph.
She suggested the city would still be able to accommodate some revellers, but not to the same degree.
‘We hope that we have outdoor dining and even indoor dining, slightly more liberal than what we have now, by New Year’s Eve,’ the Lord Mayor said.
The event typically attracts more than one million people into the city to watch the display.
The Lord Mayor is particularly concerned about the logistics of managing massive crowds on the city’s public transport during a pandemic.
She said the city could not handle another lockdown.
Party goers celebrated late into the morning after ringing in 2019’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display
Revellers would be be shifted from public parks and harbour foreshores (pictured) to private homes and pubs to watch the show
But New South Wales Treasurer Dominic Perrottet was adamant the city’s iconic celebrations should go ahead with a fireworks display.
‘I want to continue to work with the Lord Mayor. We believe we should have the fireworks not just for the economic benefit, but for the hope that it gives our citizens,’ he said.
He said the government has shown it can handle the challenges thrown its way.
‘This pandemic is difficult and we’re beating the virus.’
Pressure is mounting on the City of Sydney council to make a decision about the iconic celebration.
About one million people flock to the city’s iconic foreshore ever year to watch the elaborate 12-minute display where fireworks detonate from Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge
Sydney’s world-famous New Year’s Eve firework display (pictured above at Sydney Harbour) will likely be cancelled to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic
Local mayors across the city have urged Ms Moore to make the call as they attempt to plan local celebrations.
City of Sydney Council is working with the NSW government to assess the impact of COVID-19 on New Year’s Eve.
‘Health and safety is paramount for our community, and it may not be responsible to encourage large crowds to our foreshore this year,’ a spokesman told Daily Mail Australia.
‘These events are subject to the NSW Government’s public health orders, which are continuously amended to address the local impact of the pandemic.’
New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro previously said the celebration was unlikely to go ahead because of the pandemic.
Mr Barilaro said the cancellation of major events in regional areas, such as the Tamworth Country Music Festival, suggested large gatherings couldn’t go ahead.
‘If the regions have to lose big tourism events like this, then there is no option but to cancel the big drawcard events in Sydney and the most obvious is the New Year’s Eve fireworks,’ Mr Barilaro told The Sydney Morning Herald.
A source close to NSW Police Minister David Elliott said there were concerns about how to deal with thousands of people converging on the harbour to see the fireworks.
‘How can you attract one million people to the Harbour shores and do it in a safe way?’, Mr Barilaro said on Nine’s Today program.
It will the first time in 32 years if Sydney’s famous fireworks display is cancelled (Revellers celebrating New Year’s Eve in Sydney during the 2020 event pictured above)
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore admitted it ‘may not be responsible’ for the celebrations to go ahead (Sydney Opera House pictured on New Year’s Eve 2019)
‘Police and health experts are saying it is very difficult to police one million people on the (harbour) foreshores.
‘This is the reality of the pandemic. We know it won’t happen, the risk is far too high,’ he said.
Mr Barilaro said it was better to flag the decision early before families made bookings for Christmas and new year holidays.
He also called for restrictions to be eased in regional NSW to allow larger weddings, school formals and unlimited numbers at venues.
City of Sydney Council is working with the government to assess the impact of COVID-19 on all major events, including New Year’s Eve (Sydney Harbour fireworks display pictured)