Sydney’s lord mayor, Clover Moore, said the main issue is climate change and not the city’s New Year’s Eve fireworks.
In spite of the closure of popular vantage points amid ongoing climate issues in Sydney, the city foreshore fireworks will ring in 2020.
The NSW Rural Fire Service has granted the fireworks display an exemption to the total fire ban. A similar exemption for fireworks at Parramatta Park was not granted.
Moore echoed much of the event’s budget has already been allocated. The event generates more than $130 million for the NSW economy, while the council has donated more than $620,000 to bushfire and drought-affected communities.
The lord mayor told reporters, “The compelling issue here is climate change. Australia is burning – our national parks and our native animals are being decimated and our communities are being devastated. People have lost homes, people have died, firefighters have been killed defending communities.”
“As the driest continent on earth, we’re at the forefront of accelerating global warming. What is happening is a wakeup call for our governments to start making effective contributions to reducing global emissions,” she added.
Moore explained, “Cities around the world are doing their bit to address global warming – it’s our national governments that are failing us.”
Energy Minister Angus Taylor wrote an article in The Australian newspaper arguing that the nation’s “emissions reduction performance was something for which to be proud.”
However, Moore blamed Taylor and said, “the minister responsible for addressing global warming and he has failed.”
Referring to the smoke haze that settled on Sydney Harbor at 10 am on Tuesday, Moore said it is a message to the government to “start getting their act together and start taking effective action on accelerating global warming.”
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro had earlier called for Sydney foreshore fireworks to be scrapped. He said the funds should be redirected to bushfire and drought relief. Through social media, he said, “If regional areas have had fireworks banned, then let’s not have two classes of citizens. We’re all in this crisis together.”