Australia

$2 million raised for bushfire relief after Sydney New Year's Eve fireworks display

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Despite calls for Sydney's fireworks to be cancelled, the huge New Year's Eve display went ahead, raising millions in the process.

Revellers have donated more than $2 million for the bushfire relief during New Year's Eve festivities.

Despite calls for the $6.5 million event to be cancelled in solidarity with bushfire-affected communities, Sydney welcomed the new year with fireworks, light shows and music.

Fireworks explode above the Sydney Harbour Bridge, as seen from Kirribilli during New Year's Eve celebrations in Sydney, Wednesday, January 1, 2020. (AAP Image for City of Sydney/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Fireworks explode above the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
AAP

The devastating bushfires across the country have killed at least eight people since Monday.

Sydney Mayor Clover Moore said 2020 started with a sombre mood.

"Yesterday and last night's fires across New South Wales were truly shocking," she said.

Property damaged by the East Gippsland fires in Sarsfield, Victoria, Wednesday, January 1, 2019. More than half a million hectares have been burnt in Victoria's destructive East Gippsland fires. (AAP Image/News Corp Pool, Jason Edwards) NO ARCHIVING
Property damaged by the East Gippsland fires in Sarsfield, Victoria.
NEWS CORP POOL

Thousands of spectators packed the Sydney Harbour foreshore for the New Year's Eve celebrations.

Revellers watching the fireworks at the harbour and those watching the broadcast at home were asked to donate to the Red Cross disaster relief and recovery fund in response to the bushfires.

More than $2 million has been raised so far, and donations are still open online.

More than 284,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the fireworks to be cancelled.

Fireworks explode above the Sydney Harbour Bridge, as seen from Kirribilli during New Year's Eve celebrations in Sydney, Wednesday, January 1, 2020. (AAP Image for City of Sydney/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Fireworks explode above the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
AAP

Councillor Moore said the decision to go ahead with the New Year's Eve event had not been made lightly.

"Reminders to donate to the bushfire appeal and tributes to our brave firefighters were projected onto the Harbour Bridge pylons," she said.

"The City of Sydney previously donated $620,000 to bushfire and drought relief and I want to thank everyone who joined us in making a donation."

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