New Year’s Eve fireworks cancelled due to severe conditions

Genevieve Jacobs 31 December 2019 61

The fireworks display in the city has been cancelled for New Year’s Eve. Photo: File.

Update 1:00 pm, 31 December (New Year’s Eve): The ACT Government has called off all of tonight’s New Year’s Eve celebrations in Civic due to deteriorating weather and fire conditions.

The New Year’s Eve fireworks display in the City has been cancelled due to extreme weather conditions and the total fire ban imposed in the ACT over the next two days.

No decisions have been made yet about Tuesday night’s other planned activities and live music performances, as Events ACT continues to monitor weather conditions and smoke haze levels. A spokesperson said that a final call will be made tomorrow on the event as a whole, but at this stage, it’s still likely to go ahead.

In addition to the fireworks, plans for New Year’s Eve in the City include a festival of food trucks, entertainment and a countdown to midnight with live music from The Cherry Pickers, The Baker Boys and headliner ASTA, who won Triple J’s Unearthed High in 2012.

Events ACT Executive Branch Manager Jo Verden said that in addition to the total fire ban, forecast high temperatures and continuing heavy smoke haze have been a major concern in making the decision to cancel the fireworks component of the event.

“It’s disappointing that we can’t bring the fireworks to Canberra this year but the safety of the public remains a priority for providing a fun and safe event,” she said.

Events ACT is encouraging all Canberrans to plan ahead for New Year’s Eve and stay up to date with any further changes to the celebrations at

The City of Sydney Council says New Year’s Eve fireworks on Sydney Harbour will go ahead despite a petition signed by several thousand people requesting their cancellation, but the RFS won’t rule out closing down the event over safety concerns. A number of other major centres including Armidale have cancelled their fireworks displays.

ACT Emergency Services Commissioner Georgeina Whelan said today that based on forecast weather conditions and current fire danger ratings, a total fire ban has been declared for the duration of Monday, 30 December and Tuesday, 31 December under Section 114 of the Emergencies Act 2004.

“The Fire Danger Rating for this period is predicted to be severe,” Ms Whelan said. “This means if a fire starts it will be difficult to control and will spread quickly. The ACT is well resourced and the current deployments to support NSW do not impact the level of fire protection to Canberra and the surrounding regions.”

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting hot, dry and windy conditions over this period with temperatures predicted to reach 39 degrees. A smoke haze will remain in the region, fed by fires across the south-east.

Residents in bushfire-prone areas are urged to review their Bushfire Survival Plan or if you don’t have a plan in place, to take the time to create one.

Keep up-to-date via the ESA website, ESA Twitter and ESA Facebook, local ACT media outlets or by calling Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

To find out more about Total Fire Bans, including any closures or restrictions visit

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61 Responses to New Year’s Eve fireworks cancelled due to severe conditions
Angus Cameron Angus Cameron 10:41 pm 31 Dec 19

I hope they donate the money to fire victims and or drought affected farmers

Vicki Schramm Vicki Schramm 4:23 pm 31 Dec 19

Shame on Sydney! Why would you not boycott this flagrant slap in the face for our courageous fire fighters? Tomorrow you will be complaining about the smoke haze again. Sucks to be you.

Ray Ez Ray Ez 12:13 am 31 Dec 19

That sucks, but at least the next one will be HUGE!!!

Angela Cla Angela Cla 7:46 pm 30 Dec 19

Good on you Act... good to see someone actually has commonsense. 👍👍

paulmuster paulmuster 9:41 am 30 Dec 19

This is an outrage.

There is no empirical evidence linking bushfires to fireworks. Infact, there is a growing body of (unpublished fireworks lobby funded) research showing that fireworks might actually reduce bushfire risk.

Times like this, where morale is low due to bushfires, poor air quality, decimation of biodiversity and heatwaves, are when we need fireworks the most.

Jeremy Tadman Jeremy Tadman 11:49 pm 29 Dec 19

They should put on a laser show instead. Gotta make some kind of positive out of the smoke.

Kristy Walker Kristy Walker 10:41 pm 29 Dec 19

De ja vu all over again.

Joanne David Joanne David 10:00 pm 29 Dec 19

Agree they should ban fireworks for all of Australia, until the drought breaks.

k452 k452 9:47 pm 29 Dec 19

Common sense prevails

Ingrid Mears Ingrid Mears 9:43 pm 29 Dec 19

Absolutely the right decision

Rob Sanders Rob Sanders 9:11 pm 29 Dec 19

Sensible decision. Reuse them at a later date when it is safer.

rationalobserver rationalobserver 9:04 pm 29 Dec 19

Forget the dogs. Taxpayers all over Canberra are rejoicing !

Jai Darling Jai Darling 8:20 pm 29 Dec 19

Not that big of a loss, they haven't put effort into the New Year's fireworks display in years....

Margaret Collis Margaret Collis 8:10 pm 29 Dec 19

Yes! 👏 Hopefully the same common-sense will prevail with the Summernats Burnouts & fireworks next weekend when it’s forecast to be 40 degrees again! The air quality is poor enough without adding burnt rubber or grass fires to the mix!🤞

    Craig McPherson Craig McPherson 8:28 pm 29 Dec 19

    Margaret Collis 49!!!


    Margaret Collis Margaret Collis 8:32 pm 29 Dec 19

    Craig McPherson oops ! Sorry ... 40! Corrected!

    Matty Lenny Matty Lenny 9:02 pm 29 Dec 19

    Margaret Collis spoken from a true Motorsport hater

    Matty Lenny Matty Lenny 12:56 am 30 Dec 19

    Haha I got angry emojis if only some people new the difference

    Margaret Collis Margaret Collis 11:03 am 30 Dec 19

    No Matty Lenny ... I am not a Motorsport hater! I happen to believe that a car spinning wheels on the spot throwing toxic smoke into the air that impacts people’s’ health is not Motorsport! In the current conditions of high temperatures, poor air quality and tinder dry grass continuing with burnouts and fireworks should be deemed to be irresponsible!

    Mark Valerius Mark Valerius 11:09 am 30 Dec 19

    We were only speaking about this last night. "When will some butthurt person, who hates Summernats, add the burnouts as an example". SMH.

    Ryan Bailey Ryan Bailey 12:33 pm 30 Dec 19

    there is a big difference between shooting gunpowder into the sky during a total fire ban and a bogan doing a skid on a large patch of asphalt surrounded by people with fire extinguishers.

    Some people will just take any excuse to hate on an event like summernats.

Joanne Mitchell Joanne Mitchell 8:08 pm 29 Dec 19

Sanity at last prevails

Shanski Beez Shanski Beez 8:06 pm 29 Dec 19

It's cancelled because there will be a total fire ban.

The government didn't do this out of the goodness of their hearts.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart Samuel Gordon-Stewart 8:00 pm 29 Dec 19

Hooray! Now if we can just make it permanent, that would be great. Such a completely pointless waste of money to celebrate something which is absolutely meaningless.

Woody Brenden Woody Brenden 7:14 pm 29 Dec 19

Why not something like this in future? Significantly less fire risk and looks way cooler!

Barry Finch Barry Finch 7:11 pm 29 Dec 19

Great decision. Congratulations.

Marion Rae Marion Rae 6:47 pm 29 Dec 19

Good decision 🌏

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