Clover Moore agrees to stage 9pm fireworks

“It’s great to see the 9pm fireworks will proceed in line with the road map conditions announced by the NSW government,” Mr Ayres said.

The agreement to stage the 9pm fireworks will be put to an extraordinary meeting of the council on Tuesday, and follows fierce criticism from City of Sydney councillors and business groups over the decision to cancel the 9pm display.

Liberal councillor Craig Chung said councillors had not been consulted on the “unilateral decision by the fun police” to take away the first set of fireworks on December 31.

“If she maintains her stance, Clover will be known as Clover the Grinch who stole New Year’s Eve from families,” he said.

Labor councillor Linda Scott said Cr Moore “broke Sydney’s heart” by cancelling the majority of New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Cr Moore said concerns about the ongoing Delta COVID-19 outbreak had prompted the council to ask the NSW government to take over New Year’s Eve celebrations, as it had in 2020.

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The state government had rebuffed that offer, she said, and “we instead agreed to host a midnight-only fireworks display, and began planning for that event”.

Cr Moore said the decision to cancel the 9pm fireworks was driven by a concern that it would lead to a COVID-19 outbreak and attract families with younger children, many of whom would most likely still be unvaccinated by New Year’s Eve.

“The fireworks always generate very large crowds and the two separate displays result in the crossover of large numbers of people leaving for one show and arriving for the next,” she said.

The state government has since unveiled its road map to reopen NSW, including the plan that, from December 1, vaccinated and unvaccinated people would be able to move freely about the state and participate in large public events.

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