Sydney’s New Years Eve fireworks will go ahead despite “severe” fire danger, a heatwave and a total fire ban in Greater Sydney after the Rural Fire Service granted the council a special exemption.
But the nation’s capital, Canberra, has cancelled planned fireworks as has a number of Sydney council areas denied an exemption by the RFS including Parramatta, Campbelltown and Wollongong.
Despite the intervention of Deputy Premier John Barilaro who warned Sydney’s fireworks spectacular was “too risky” the RFS granted the exemption.
The Sydney Harbour fireworks have been approved to proceed tomorrow.
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) December 30, 2019
“Sydney’s New Years Eve Fireworks should just be canceled, very easy decision,’’ Mr Barilaro tweeted from London.
“The risk is too high and we must respect our exhausted RFS volunteers. If regional areas have had fireworks banned, then let’s not have two classes of citizens. We’re all in this crisis together.”
Sydney’s New Years Eve Fireworks should just be canceled, very easy decision. The risk is too high and we must respect our exhausted RFS volunteers. If regional areas have had fireworks banned, then let’s not have two classes of citizens. We’re all in this crisis together.
— John Barilaro MP (@JohnBarilaroMP) December 29, 2019
Last week, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian backed the City of Sydney decision to go ahead with the fireworks display if authorities deemed it was safe to do so.
The event generates around $130 million for the state’s economy and is broadcast around the globe.
“Sydney is one of the first cities in the world welcoming in the New Year. If it is safe to do so, we should continue to do it as we have done every other year,” Ms Berejiklian said.
On Sunday, the ACT government confirmed it would not got ahead with planned fireworks in Canberra, which has been choked with smoke for weeks from the bushfires on the south coast.
“It is a sensible decision for us not to proceed with the fireworks in the ACT,” ACT Emergency Services Agency commissioner Georgeina Whelan said.
Happy NYE 😐 https://t.co/onZjFR8HeG
— 𝕤𝕒𝕞𝕒𝕟𝕥𝕙𝕒 𝕞𝕒𝕚𝕕𝕖𝕟 (@samanthamaiden) December 30, 2019