Australia

Sydney council cancels Australia Day fireworks 'out of respect' for bushfire victims

Blacktown Council has cancelled its Australia Day fireworks as bushfires continue to burn. Source: Blacktown Council

A western Sydney council has cancelled its annual Australia Day fireworks out of respect for those affected by Australia's devastating fires.

Blacktown Council in Sydney's west has become the latest council to cancel its Australia Day fireworks display as fires continue to burn across New South Wales and Victoria. 

Blacktown Mayor Tony Bleasdale said the decision was taken in response to the bushfires which have killed at least 28 people and destroyed more than 3,000 properties.

“Out of respect to those who lost lives and property, and with the ever-present danger from fires in our own area, the council has decided to put this year’s fireworks on hold,” Cr Bleasdale said. 

Blacktown joins a growing list of councils that have decided not to go ahead with firework displays on 26 January, including Geelong and Canberra. 

It follows muted New Year's Eve and Lunar New Year celebrations when the bushfire crisis prompted many regional cities and event organisers to go without fireworks. 

The City of Sydney resisted calls to cancel its New Year's Eve display on Sydney Harbour arguing many people had already flown in and paid for hotels and restaurants to watch the $6.5 million celebrations. 

The NSW government is planning a new "fireworks extravaganza" at Circular Quay on Australia Day. 

Cr Bleasdale assured western suburbs residents there would still be "plenty of fun and excitement" for families on the day.

A carnival and concert at The Rooty Hill will still go ahead with Dragon, Shannon Noll and the Choir Boys on the line-up. 

Some Blacktown City Council staff have been sent to bushfire-affected councils to assist with bushfire relief and the rebuilding effort. 

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