Sydney's NYE Fireworks WILL Go Ahead, RFS Says
The Rural Fire Service has confirmed Sydney's annual New Year's Eve celebration will go ahead as planned, fireworks and all.
"The Sydney Harbour fireworks have been approved to proceed tomorrow," the RFS said in a tweet on Monday evening.
"The NSW Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue NSW are assessing a number of other Total Fire Ban exemptions."
The decision comes in the wake of heated debate over whether it was disrespectful to hundreds of Australians who had lost their homes in a horror start to bushfire season.
Many local councils across the country have canned their own fireworks events, in some cases choosing to donate funds to fire relief funds instead.
Social media users have been quick to criticise the City Of Sydney for failing to cancel their own show - which is aired on television in countries around the world - and claimed it could pose a fire risk in such dangerous conditions.
Earlier on Monday, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro took to Twitter to say cancelling Australia's biggest annual fireworks event should be an "easy decision" as the "risk is too high".
"We must respect our exhausted RFS volunteers," he wrote on Twitter on Monday morning.
"If regional areas have had fireworks banned, then let’s not have two classes of citizens ... We’re all in this crisis together."
However, City of Sydney spokeswoman Tanya Goldberg said the council is of the "firm view" the event should proceed.
"Preparations began 15 months ago which means that most of the budget, largely used for crowd safety and cleansing measures, has already been spent," she told reporters on Sunday.
"Cancelling would have little practical benefit for devastated communities."
The state's premier Gladys Berejiklian supported the city's decision to go ahead with the fireworks.