Sydney Harbour’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display will go ahead despite calls from a senior state politician to scrap the event due to Australia’s ongoing wildfire crisis.
The New South Wales (NSW) Rural Fire Service took to social media on Monday (30 December) to confirm it had granted approval for the famous event to take place tomorrow.
With a total fire ban restriction in place, several regions have cancelled their own New Year’s Eve fireworks including the Australian Capital Territory, where national capital Canberra is situated.
More than a quarter of a million people have signed a petition calling for fireworks to be cancelled and the money spent on fighting fires.
NSW deputy premier John Barilaro called for New Year’s Eve fireworks in Sydney to be cancelled, branding the move a "very easy decision".
"If regional areas have had fireworks banned, then let’s not have two classes of citizens," said Barilaro. "We’re all in this crisis together."
Temperatures around the state are expected to peak on Tuesday (31 December) with forecasts of more than 40C across western Sydney and in regional NSW.
A volunteer firefighter died battling a blaze in NSW today, taking the total of people to have been killed in the nation’s bushfire crisis since September to 10.
The most dangerous fires on Monday were in the state of Victoria where around 30,000 residents and tourists were urged to flee East Gippsland - a popular holiday region - but evacuations were later deemed too risky as fires encroached on major roads.