26 Nov 2020

NYE and Australia Day fireworks scrapped by Brisbane City Council

Brisbane City Council has scrapped its New Year's Eve and Australia Day fireworks, citing COVID-19 restrictions limiting crowds at South Bank.

Deputy mayor Krista Adams said about 100,000 people would usually flock to South Bank to watch the fireworks shows, which would not be feasible this year or early next.

"We know fireworks are a time-honoured New Year’s tradition but it’s about putting the safety and health of residents first," Cr Adams said.

"Social distancing is our best weapon against COVID-19 spreading, so this decision is in the community interest."

Cr Adams said Brisbane was not the only council that had to cancel fireworks.

Last year a kilometre-long stretch of fireworks lit up the sky with eight tonnes of fireworks on barges along the river on New Year's Eve, despite criticism of the event as bushfires ravaged the state.

This year, the council's other annual fireworks display, Riverfire, was transformed into a laser display as part of the Brisbane Festival.

The council said there would be "logistics in place" to manage any gathering crowds at South Bank on New Year's Eve or Australia Day, including heightened security.

Cr Adams encouraged residents to visit restaurants, cafes or bars on New Year's to celebrate.

"Families can also enjoy one of council’s 2100 parks, visit Roma Street Parkland to enjoy free barbecue facilities, swim in South Bank’s free pools and dine in along the restaurant strip or picnic on the extensive greenspace," she said.

However, she said the city's parklands would be alcohol-free for New Year's Eve to ensure celebratory safety and security.

SOURCE: https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/nye-and-australia-day-fireworks-scrapped-by-brisbane-city-council-20201102-p56aot.html

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