A petition to cancel the annual Sydney New Years Eve fireworks has failed, despite more than a quarter of a million signatures.
After six weeks of petitioning, calls for the city’s fireworks display to be cancelled and the funds redirected to bushfire relief have proved to be unsuccessful.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the petition had upwards of 260,000 signatures as of Saturday night, but it turns out even a quarter of a million people can’t stop the annual event.
The Change.Org petition, entitled “Say NO to FIREWORKS NYE 2019 give the money to farmers and firefighters,” was started by Linda McCormick one month ago, and has been shared countless times by people from all over the country.
“2019 has been a catastrophic year in Australia for floods and fires,” the petition reads. “Give the money we spend on fireworks New Years Eve to farmers and firefighters.”
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore previously said it wasn’t feasible to cancel the fireworks as they were planned 15 months prior to the actual event.
“We can’t cancel the New Year’s Eve celebrations. It would have little practical benefit for affected communities,” the City of Sydney website statement reads.
“We began preparations and planning for the NYE celebrations 15 months ago. This means most of the budget, largely used for crowd safety and cleaning measures, has already been spent.”
Unfortunately, due to prior commitments with pyrotechnics and other contractors involved in the event, it isn’t possible to cancel the event, at least not without sacrificing the money already spent.
The annual NYE celebration attracts a whopping one million people to the harbour foreshore itself, with 1 billion people worldwide tuning into the event each year.
Sydney Harbour’s fireworks generates an estimated $130 million for the local economy, creating jobs, supporting small business and boosting the tourism industry.
Although the event hasn’t been cancelled, the City of Sydney has donated $620,000 to help “support communities and wildlife impacted by bushfire and drought.”
In addition to the charitable donation, the council has also announced that the City of Sydney’s fireworks will be carbon offset and biodegradable, which will help to reduce the understandably large amount of waste associated with the event.
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