Sydney’s iconic fireworks display on New Year’s Eve will go-ahead despite calls for it to be cancelled due to the bushfire crisis.
New South Wales has been ravaged by bushfires intensified by record-breaking temperatures and months of drought.
A number of fireworks displays across the state have already been cancelled, and the organisers of the Sydney event were urged to do the same and donate the money to farmers and the fire service.
Today, the NSW Rural Fire Service granted organisers an exemption from a total fire ban covering the region, and Sydney’s lord mayor said cancelling the display “would have little practical benefit”.
According to the BBC, there was also a petition calling for the Sydney spectacle to be scrapped – saying it sent the wrong message at a time swathes of the country was suffering from bushfires.
That petition, which claimed that A$5.8m was reportedly spent on fireworks in Sydney last year, has gathered more than 270,000 signatures.
Hundreds of thousands of people are still expected to gather at the Sydney Harbour Bridge for the midnight fireworks display, a globally renowned attraction.