Sydney’s world-famous New Year’s Eve fireworks on the harbour are unlikely to go ahead this year, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro says.
Citing the difficulty of holding the event in a “socially responsibly way” in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Barilaro says if the state’s regional towns lose big tourism events, it would be obvious to cancel drawcard events in Sydney like the New Year’s Eve fireworks.
“How can you attract one million people to the harbour shores and do it in a safe way?”, he said on Nine’s Today program on Wednesday.
“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.
It was better to flag the decision early before families made bookings for Christmas and new year holidays, he said.
“They will be booking restaurants, cafes, hotel, accommodation at significant cost to family budgets. If the drawcard is the fireworks and then you made a final decision to not go ahead with it, that would be the wrong thing to do,” he said.
The precedent set by the cancellation of major events in regional areas, such as the Tamworth Country Music Festival, suggested large gatherings can’t go ahead.