Pyrotechnicians Say They've Lost 'Half' Their Work As Councils Cancel NYE Fireworks
Calls for an end to New Year's Eve firework displays across the country have cost the industry 'half' its work in at least one state this year, a pyrotechnician has claimed.
Thousands have called for their local councils and capital cities to scrap the firework displays and to spend the money on aiding fire services battling a horror bushfire season instead.
Others have claimed on social media the fireworks pose a danger during a total fire ban, and should not be allowed to put on shows lest they spark a blaze.
Moreton Bay Council, Ipswich Council, and Tweed Heads Council have agreed to scrap their shows - but one business owner has pointed out it's having a hugely detrimental effect on local businesses.
Foti Fireworks director Nick Mitri, who has ten employees, told 10 daily his industry had been 'devastated' by the backlash amidst the bushfire crisis.
"It's horrible what's happening, but I don't understand where the link between fire bans and firework displays has come from," he said.
"Generally speaking, the industry in Queensland - we all talk to each other - it's been rather devastating."
He said about half the work in the state had been lost, and colleagues in Sydney had told him "it's been the worst they've seen in 20 years".
"It's been a hard two months... I'm a bit nervous about what long term damage has been done."
Max Brunner, director of Skylighter Fireworx, told the Courier Mail there were some businesses that could fold under the pressure of this holiday season.
He said while his company had been 'quite fortunate' in being down only 100 shows compared to last year, others had not been as lucky.
"There are businesses in the industry that, without New Year’s Eve, will go under,” he said.
Brisbane City Council confirmed on Saturday it would be going ahead with its display on New Year's Eve.
Deputy Mayor Krista Adams told reporters the show provides a much-needed boost to the local economy and tourism industry.
"They're an important part of our community. It's about supporting local traders," she said.
"People book these events a year out to stay in the hotels at South Bank.
"We want to make sure that they come together and celebrate as a family."
The Council has donated $100,000 each to the bushfire appeal and the Country Women's Association.
In Sydney, a petition of nearly 200,000 signatures calling for the fireworks to be scrapped has also failed to make a change.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said explained last month the event could not be cancelled but claimed it would be used to help raise money for communities hit by drought and bushfires.
"Sydney New Year’s Eve is one of the world’s biggest public events," she said in a lengthy Facebook post.
"It attracts more than one million people to the harbour foreshore, is watched by a billion more worldwide, and it injects $130 million into the NSW economy.
"Locals, visitors, and businesses plan their Sydney New Year’s Eve experience years in advance. It’s an event that unites people from all over the world, with a message of hope for the year to come.
"We can’t cancel it, but we can harness the enormous power of the event to raise more money for drought and fire-affected communities."
Sydney City Council will also donate $300,000 to emergency services, $300,000 to the Drought Aid appeal and $20,000 to WIRES.
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