Sydney gears up for New Year's spectacle despite Australian fires


Around the world, New Year's Eve is celebrated with lavish firework displays, traditional songs and indulging in festive treats.

"The pyrotechnics organisations and local authorities are used to working with us around exemptions in the summer period, whether it is Christmas, New Year or some other event", he said in the ABC report.

Sydney chose to press ahead with its fireworks display despite calls by some members of the public for it to be canceled in solidarity with fire-hit areas in New South Wales, of which the city is the capital.

Canberra's stance comes amid a debate in Sydney over whether the major New Year's Eve fireworks should be cancelled.

The Sky Tower lit up with an impressive fireworks display.

"We began preparations and planning for the NYE celebrations 15 months ago".

"My new year wish is this movement can end soon but not because we lost the fight, because we win the fight", said 40-year-old clerk Kong, who joined a small lunchtime protest in the central financial district and gave only her last name. "It generates A$130m (£69m; $91m) for the NSW economy, powers our tourism industry, creates jobs and supports countless small businesses", she said.

Clover Moore went on to say that climate change is the "compelling issue" to come out of the past several weeks, and called on the federal government to commit to taking action.

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Other areas where fireworks displays have been cancelled or postponed include Wollongong, Maitland, Orange, Berry, Shoalhaven, Huskisson, Armidale, Port Macquarie, Liverpool, Campbelltown and Tweed Heads.

A petition has been set up to protest against the Sydney fireworks display and has so far been signed by over 260,000 people.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro disagreed, however, saying that the associated fire danger is too great and that "we must respect our exhausted RFS volunteers".

ACT Emergency Services Agency said the decision was due to "unprecedented extreme and highly unpredictable weather conditions".

Why are there calls to cancel fireworks displays?

Moore added that people viewing the fireworks around the harbor will see a donation link projected onto the Sydney Harbor Bridge pylons throughout the night.

"Many of us have mixed feelings about this evening, but the important thing we take out of this is that we're a resilient state", NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.