Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks should be cancelled, says John Barilaro

Deputy Premier says Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks should be cancelled as a sign of ‘respect’ to exhausted volunteer firefighters

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has called for New Year’s Eve fireworks in Sydney to be cancelled, saying it’s a ‘very easy decision’.

Temperatures around the state are expected to peak on Tuesday, with forecasts of more than 40C across western Sydney and in regional NSW.

Some communities have decided to cancel or postpone their fireworks displays, including Armidale in the state’s north and Huskisson on the state’s south.

More than 250,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Sydney fireworks to be scrapped, with funding redirected to drought and bushfire relief.

Mr Barilaro on Monday echoed those calls.

‘The risk is too high and we must respect our exhausted RFS volunteers. If regional areas have had fireworks banned, then let’s not have two classes of citizens. We’re all in this crisis together,’ he said on social media.

However, City of Sydney spokeswoman Tanya Goldberg says the council is of the ‘firm view’ the event should proceed.

The city’s famous celebrations are expected to attract one million people to the harbour foreshore and generate $130 million for the NSW economy.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said if the RFS and experts say it’s safe for fireworks to go ahead, then they should.

RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons on Sunday said he couldn’t foresee the New Year’s Eve efforts being compromised by a total fire ban.

But residents were warned to shelve their own private fireworks plans.