Thousands of people have signed an online petition to cancel Sydney’s world-renowned New Year’s Eve fireworks display as much of the country continues to battle against devastating bushfires and drought.
The petition calling for the iconic display to be scrapped was posted on Change.org earlier this week by a woman identified only as ‘Kayla’, and so far more than 10,800 people have backed the campaign.
“With Australia facing drought and now catastrophic fires, decimating towns as it tears across our country, the thought of spending MILLIONS of dollars on a firework display when it could be used to support and rebuild our country instead is infuriating,” the petition reads.
“Join me in petitioning that the funds for the 2019/2020 New Years Firework display in Sydney are instead allocated to the Aussie farmers affected by drought and the Aussie citizens affected by the fires.”
It goes on to say: “It’s times like these when we as a nation need to look at our priorities and I believe the new year should be welcomed in in the aussie way; by giving our fellow Australians a helping hand!”
One woman who pledged her support to the petition wrote: “The government needs to wake up and realise that there are more important things than looking good on the world stage, like ensuring the people of this country still have somewhere to live and aren’t driven from their homes by fire or lack of water.”
Another said: “All the farmers affected by drought and all the people impacted by these fires need monetary help not a firework display! Spend the money where its needed!!”
A City of Sydney spokesperson told Yahoo news: “The event unites people from all over Australia and the world, with a message of hope, happiness and celebration.”
A late night fireworks display on Sydney Harbour has sparked outrage, with critics asking why the colourful light show was ignited during a total fire ban. @mr_timdavies #9News pic.twitter.com/6021pA9kWH
— Nine News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) November 14, 2019
Earlier this week, a fireworks display over the Harbour Bridge sparked outrage due to ongoing fire bans across the state, following the deaths of four people as a result of bushfires.
The fireworks were set off as part of a corporate event for air conditioning company Daikin, with the display granted an exception despite NSW being under a state-wide total fire ban at the time.