But we can’t cancel the New Year’s Eve celebrations. Even if we could, it would have little practical benefit for affected communities.
We began preparations for the New Year’s Eve celebrations 15 months ago. This means most of the budget, largely used for crowd safety and cleaning measures, has already been spent.
Cancelling the event would seriously hurt Sydney businesses. It would also ruin plans for tens of thousands of people from across the country and overseas who have booked flights, hotels and restaurants to be here for New Year’s Eve.
Planning for weather conditions
The City of Sydney works closely with NSW Government agencies such as the Department of Premier and Cabinet, NSW Health, NSW Police and Fire and Rescue NSW in the lead-up to Sydney New Year’s Eve.
If a total fire ban is declared, we’ll continue to liaise with NSW Government agencies and the NSW Rural Fire Service to determine the safest way to proceed with the event.
In the event of high winds, we’ll assess the conditions with fireworks director Fortunato Foti.
We’ll continue to discuss weather and safety issues such as smoke haze, and how to manage them, as we get closer to the event date.
We encourage everyone to be mindful of the conditions and how they could impact on health.
Watched by millions
The display is watched by 1 billion people worldwide, showcasing Sydney to the world as a safe, inclusive and attractive place to visit.
Sydney New Year’s Eve generates $130 million for the NSW economy and super charges our tourism industry, creating jobs and supporting countless small businesses.
Rather than cancelling the event, we’ve donated $620,000 to support communities and wildlife impacted by bushfire and drought, and offered our trucks and staff to help emergency services with clean-up and recovery.
We’re also promoting an online fundraiser for the Red Cross Disaster Recovery and Relief Fund in the lead-up to and on New Year’s Eve.
During the broadcast and on the night, we’ll encourage those gathered around the harbour and watching at home to give generously.
The event will also support our official charity partner, the Refugee Council of Australia, as we begin 2020: The Year of Welcome.
The Australian Red Cross Relief and Recovery fund is specifically set up to give people support when disasters happen.
This fund has already helped support more than 13,500 Australians at evacuation centres, recovery hubs and over the phone when disasters strike.
It’s now providing cash grants of $2,000 to people who have lost their homes in the recent bushfires, so they can meet everyday expenses.
It helps Red Cross emergency volunteers get to disaster-affected areas, covers their expenses and funds their equipment and training.
It means Red Cross can be there whenever a disaster strikes and stay afterwards to help people and communities recover.
The City of Sydney’s fireworks will be carbon offset. They’re also biodegradable to reduce waste and environmental impact.
The event will also be greener this year, with our sites and operations using 100% accredited GreenPower.
This year we’ll buy GreenPower certificates to the equivalent of our energy use.
These will cover 10 sites across the city, including Bicentennial and Pirrama parks and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The certificates will support the production of renewable energy at Sapphire Wind Farm in northern NSW.
All City of Sydney-owned properties will use energy bought with GreenPower certificates from 1 July 2020, supporting energy generated by Sapphire Wind Farm and 2 other renewable energy projects.