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Editions

Fireworks decision confirmed

25 Oct 2016

By Nadia Dimattina

The City of Melbourne has confirmed that New Year’s Eve fireworks will no longer be fired from barges in Victoria harbour.

The council says the fireworks will be fired from rooftops, but says it won’t release specific details until early December. 

It said it decided to relocate due to construction and safety concerns. 

“The New Year’s Eve fireworks have been moved from the water due to the development in the area, in particular building works in the NewQuay Piazza,” a council spokesperson said. 

“As we expect more than 35,000 people to attend the New Year’s Eve fireworks in Docklands, we need to ensure public safety, particularly as the fireworks attract families and young children.”

The council said moving the fireworks away from the waterways would only bring about positive change. 

Docklands Chamber of Commerce president, Joh Maxwell said she was disappointed with the council’s decision.

“Feedback is that the fireworks on the water have been a major success and to remove them is making change for change’s sake. People are befuddled as to why you would change something that has been so successful,” Mrs Maxwell said.

The City of Melbourne is also yet to select a company to conduct major events in Docklands in 2017 and says it would not be announcing the successful candidate until the end of October. 

The awarded company will be responsible for key events and activations in the Docklands precinct, including fireworks related events. 

The council spokesperson said: “Relocating the live site in Docklands will not only bring the precinct in line with the city wide risk and safety strategy for New Year’s Eve, but will also give a greater opportunity for more water craft activity and activation on the harbour,” the spokesperson said. 

Mrs Maxwell said: “Having the activation on Harbour Esplanade will isolate out the areas of NewQuay and Victoria Harbour Promenade and remove the vista of a water-based precinct.”

“Fireworks in Docklands on the water has been an ongoing attraction and differentiates Docklands to the other areas of the city.”

“Our water-facing buildings provide unique viewing opportunities and brings thousands of visitors to Docklands.”

“To this date, we are not aware of any safety issues relating to the water-based fireworks and believe this is actually the safest time to be enjoying the waterways to the fullest.”

“Our charter boat members also make the most of the water-based fireworks as an opportunity to be up close and personal with the spectacle of fireworks.  The vista from the charter boats is unique at this time,” Mrs Maxwell said.

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