A petition has been started on Change.org to cancel the iconic New Year’s Eve fireworks display in Sydney so the money can go towards struggling Australian families instead. Already, over 14,000 people have signed it.
"With Australia facing drought and now catastrophic fires, decimating towns as it tears across our country, the thought of spending MILLIONS of dollars on a firework display when it could be used to support and rebuild our country instead is infuriating," reads the petition.
"It's times like these when we as a nation need to look at our priorities and I believe the new year should be welcomed in the Aussie way; by giving our fellow Australians a helping hand."
Last week, people were outraged when a display of fireworks was set off in Sydney’s harbour just 24 hours after parts of the state faced catastrophic fire danger and dozens of blazes continued to burn. The fireworks were considered to be in "shockingly bad taste" and "wrong on every level". Fireworks that were scheduled for the following day were cancelled and the use of future fireworks during the fire ban is currently being reviewed.
Last year, it’s estimated that the Sydney NYE fireworks show, which is one of the best in the world and watched globally, contributed $133 million to the local economy.
A second petition has been started, which asks Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore to not cancel the display but rather donate a percentage of the fireworks profits to bushfire victims.