DESPITE Wollongong City Council pulling the plug on the fireworks, the 2019 New Year’s Eve celebrations will go ahead tomorrow night.
Council has cancelled the fireworks display as a consequence of a Total Fire Ban in place for tomorrow. This ban covers fireworks displays.
In addition, weather forecasts for December 31 have a southerly change passing through the city in the early evening. This is predicted to bring with it strong winds of up to 50kmh and, for public safety reasons, the fireworks do not go ahead if winds are 40km/h or more.
“We have been closely monitoring the weather over the past few days and had ongoing discussions with the NSW Fire and Rescue, the NSW Rural Fire Service and our fireworks provider and we are responding to their advice,” Wollongong Acting Lord Mayor Tania Brown said.
“Previous Total Fire Bans have not included fireworks – this ban does. When we consider this ban in light of the strong southerly predicted to pass through Wollongong in the lead up to the 9pm fireworks display, we have decided not use our event’s fireworks exemption and instead cancel this aspect of the community celebrations.
“By taking this step now, we’re able to let our community know what they can expect from the event tomorrow night and avoid a last-minute cancellation of the display.”
Cr Brown said she hoped people would still come along and enjoy the family-focussed event and that there will be local Rotary volunteers on hand to collect donations to the NSW Rural Fire Service.
“I know there is diverse and strong community opinion about these fireworks and we hope everyone will understand why we’ve had to cancel this component of the popular event,” she said.
“Other aspects of the event including the live music, stalls and rides will continue as planned – although it’s likely we will make a few tweaks to the layout of the event in Lang and Osborne Parks to accommodate the weather conditions.”
Information on the fireworks cancellation will be put on Council’s website and Facebook page.