Sydney’s traditional 9pm New Year’s Eve fireworks will now go ahead after Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore reversed her decision to cancel the event this year.
The fireworks will now proceed with extra provisions from the NSW Government and a guarantee that the government would take control of the event should health orders be altered.
“The Lord Mayor broke Sydney’s heart by cancelling the majority of Sydney’s 2021 New Year’s Eve celebrations,” City of Sydney Councillor Linda Scott said. “I’m glad that she has heard my calls and will be reinstating the 9pm fireworks.”
The initial decision to cancel the 9pm fireworks came after uncertainty regarding mass public events while the state emerges from its COVID-19 lockdown. There was also concern with the attraction of young families to the fireworks, with many children most likely to be unvaccinated on New Year’s Eve.
A Helping Hand
Per The Sydney Morning Herald, a letter from Clr Moore addressed to NSW Jobs and Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres confirmed that the City of Sydney would hold the event “in a similar way to prior to the pandemic”.
The decision to stage the 9pm fireworks will be put to an extraordinary council meeting tonight after the initial move was broadly condemned by local businesses, residents and councillors, the latter of whom was not consulted before the decision was made.
Clr Scott will move two motions at the extraordinary meeting centred around New Year’s Eve celebrations to facilitate a more streamlined approach to the events. The first will request that the City of Sydney’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) brings in a “revised Memorandum of Understanding … and Agency Agreement to Council” that will include 9pm fireworks in all years of the agreements. The second requests that the CEO provides a revised agreement back to Council that will include the 9pm fireworks.
Clr Moore hopes the support of the State will ensure the safety of the event.
“We still have concerns about the potential health impact of crowd gatherings at New Year’s Eve,” Clr Moore told the Herald.
“The state government has assured us it will take responsibility for the event or cancel the 9pm fireworks should public health conditions deteriorate.”
The New Year’s Eve celebrations inject up to $133 million into the City of Sydney economy and is a valuable opportunity for city businesses to embrace activated streets and laneways while supporting local employment.
The NSW Government’s roadmap to reopen the state indicates that from December 1, vaccinated and unvaccinated people will be permitted to move freely around the state and participate in large public events.