EXCLUSIVE: Mayor wants NYE fireworks snuffed out
A POPULAR New Year's Eve tradition should be canned for the sake of public safety.
This is the view of Fraser Coast mayor, George Seymour, who wants to see fireworks snuffed out this year.
Cr Seymour said with severe weather conditions gripping the state, fireworks were a bad idea.
"Given the ongoing drought and the current fire bans I think we should be making alternative plans to bring in the New Year" Cr Seymour said.
It would mean no fireworks at iconic Fraser Coast events like New Year's Eve at the Brolga.
"I have spoken to Fraser Coast Tourism and Events about how we should be giving them a miss this year."
Lighting fireworks is currently banned under the Declaration of Sate Fire Emergency.
Cr Seymour does not think an exception should be made for New Year's Eve.
He said the occasion should instead be used to support community groups and volunteers.
"At a difficult time like this we can find other ways to celebrate the New Year - like live music - and help raise funds for rural fire brigades," Cr Seymour said.
"I think there is enough time too for the community to discuss how we can celebrate New Year's Eve without fireworks."
Cr Seymour is not alone in condemning fireworks displays as bushfires rage.
Residents criticised the decision to hold a fireworks display over Sydney Harbour on Wednesday, November 13.
Critics took to social media to speak out against the "senseless" display, held at the site of one of the most famous New Year's Eve fireworks shows in the world.
"One of my students told me his house almost burnt down yesterday. Now there's fireworks exploding everywhere in Sydney. Seems a little insensitive, sending sparks everywhere at a time like this," one Twitter user said.
Others claimed to have contacted Premier Gladys Berejiklian asking her to justify the display.
"How are fireworks allowed in Sydney on a day of total fire ban? Seems somewhat hypocritical given the tough stance that has been taken against individuals," one social media user asked.
"Definitely should have given this display a miss, shockingly bad taste tonight after the last few days and with so many fires still burning," another said.
The City of Sydney responded, saying all fireworks other than the NYE and Lunar Festival fireworks were arranged by SafeWork and not the council.
"We are notified, only when required, that a fireworks display is planned," the council said in a statement.