Australia

'Say no': Thousands sign petition to shift NYE fireworks cash into bushfire relief

(AAP Image/Brendan Esposito) Source: AAP Image/Brendan Esposito

Tens of thousands of people say they want money allocated for New Year's Eve fireworks displays to be redirected to bushfire relief funds.

Tens of thousands of people have signed a petition calling for funds set aside for New Year’s Eve fireworks displays around Australia to be spent on bushfire relief.

More than 77,000 people had signed the online petition, which was set up last month, by Monday afternoon.

People have died, flora and fauna have been destroyed and homes have been lost in the country-wide fires, which have been labelled “unprecedented” for their severity so early in the season.

Smoke from fires burning in New South Wales has also settled over and choked Sydney.

“2019 has been a catastrophic year in Australia for Floods and Fires. Give the money we spend on FIREWORKS New Years Eve to farmers and Firefighters and Animal Carers. Save AUSTRALIA’s Wildlife,” the Change.org petition read.

“All states should say NO to FIREWORKS. This may traumatise some people as there is enough smoke in the air.”

Several local councils around the country have already pledged to cancel fireworks displays, or replace them with light shows, due to the fires.

But there are calls for Australia’s larger cities to make similar moves.

About $5.8 million was spent on fireworks in Sydney alone last New Year’s Eve.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said there would be "little practical benefit" to cancelling the city's event this year.

“Our fireworks are planned 15 months in advance and most of the budget - which is largely allocated to crowd safety and cleaning measures – has already been spent,” she said in a statement.

"We have committed to harnessing the enormous power of the event, which brings a million people together around our harbour, to raise more money for the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund."

Sydney's fireworks will be carbon offset and are biodegradable in order to reduce waste and environmental impact, she added.

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