Businesses Prepare For The Worst As Sydney's NYE Fireworks Rumoured To Be At Risk
While the debate over the Sydney New Year's Eve fireworks rages on, businesses are worried about the flow-on effects if they were to be cancelled.
With hundreds of bushfires still burning, a petition calling for fireworks to be cancelled around the country has over 250,000 signatures.
The petition is calling for the money that has been spent on fireworks be given to farmers and firefighters instead.
"5.8 MILLION $$ was spent in Sydney alone for fireworks last year," it said.
"All states should say NO to FIREWORKS. This may traumatise some people as there is enough smoke in the air."
Despite reports claiming Sydney's fireworks would be cancelled due to catastrophic weather conditions predicted for Tuesday, the City of Sydney has declared they will go ahead as planned.
"The City of Sydney works closely with NSW government agencies such as the Department of Premier and Cabinet, NSW Health, NSW Police and Fire and Rescue NSW in the lead-up to the event," a City of Sydney spokesman said in a statement on Sunday.
"If a total fire ban is declared, we will continue to liaise with NSW Government agencies and the NSW Rural Fire Service to determine the safest way to proceed with the event."
Even so, boat charter operators on Sydney Harbour have contingency plans in place in case the fireworks are cancelled.
Every year, dozens of chartered boats take to the water around the harbour to give customers -- who have paid mega-money -- prime viewing of the fireworks.
"We have been talking to other boat companies, every business has had to do that (have contingency plans) this year," one charter company told 10 daily.
"But in all aspects, we are ready to operate."
The spokesperson said there has been a noticeable reduction in bookings this year.
"People are more cautious this year and the booking inquiries have not been as robust as previous years," he said.
Despite a company policy of no refunds this close to the event, he said this year that would be waived if clients did not want to attend.
Of the 2000 customers the company has booked on to the numerous charters on Tuesday night, so far only two refunds have been given.
The City of Sydney's famous celebration is expected to attract one million people to the Harbour foreshore and generate $130 million for the NSW economy.
The spokesperson for the charter company said the decision to call off the fireworks would be a hard one and would impact businesses all around the city.
"There will be flow-on effects for places such as hotels - there are staff and team members in place," he said.
Another Sydney boat charter agency, which has booked customers on to dozens of boats set to sail on the Harbour on New Year's Eve, said there would be "devastating" effects for boat operators if they had to cancel tours.
"It's not only the loss of money, but a lot of the crews are booked in advance," a spokesperson told 10 daily.
"They've been paid weeks and months in advance and wouldn't be able to refund."
Some communities have decided to cancel or postpone their fireworks displays, including Armidale in the state's northern tablelands and Huskisson on the state's south coast.
An internal email from the Northern Beaches Council said Sydney's fireworks would only be cancelled in the case of catastrophic weather, The Daily Telegraph reported on Sunday.
The decision was made at a meeting of local councils, government and the Rural Fire Service prior to Christmas, the December 27 email informed councillors.
The boat charter spokesperson said this year shows the event organisers will need to preempt changes to the traditional fireworks show.
"There is a heavy reliance on fireworks, I can see it moving towards a Vivid-like experience," he said.
"A lighting extravaganza would be a win, and it would appease a lot of people."