Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore reportedly defended the city's New year's Eve fireworks display amidst bushfires across New South Wales (NSW). However, she also emphasised that the crisis should be 'wake-up call' for governments to act on climate change. While many politicians and sections of the public have pressurised the government to cancel the $6.5 million celebrations at Sydney harbour, Moore reportedly said that she was concerned about multiple bushfires burning but the preparations for the event were forging ahead.
The NSW rural fire service said that total fire bans are in effect across ten areas of NSW including Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter, Illawarra/Shoalhaven, Far South Coast, Monaro Alpine, Southern Ranges, Central Ranges, Southern Slopes, Eastern and Southern Riverina. However, the fire service has given permission for the Sydney fireworks to take place. Moore further also defended by saying that this year's display of 1,00,000 fireworks began almost 15 months ago, further hoping that the celebration ushering in a new decade would 'give hope to people at a terrible time'.
Moore also encouraged people visiting the city on New Year’s Eve and people watching from home to donate to the Red Cross disaster relief. “We will harness the enormous power of the event to raise more money for the Australian Red Cross’ Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund,” said Moore. Sydney administration, in a statement further said that the city has already donated $620,000 to drought and bushfire relief which will be used to provide trucks, staff and other in-kind support to assist emergency services with recovery and clean-up efforts. However, the decision to go ahead with this year's fireworks display has been very unpopular as approximately 2,70,000 people have signed an online petition urging the council to cancel the event.
While Sydney lord Mayor has defended the fireworks, several councils around Sydney, including Parramatta and Campbelltown reportedly cancelled their fireworks event. Bob Dwyer, lord mayor of the City of Parramatta while speaking to an international media outlet said that the council was not granted an exemption for its display due to extreme temperatures, smoke, dust and poor air quality, extremely dry conditions at Parramatta Park. According to reports, the Northern Beaches Council has also cancelled its Dee Why fireworks, further, the council had also cancelled the Bayview fireworks display. Campbelltown and Liverpool also scrapped their fireworks.