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Lord Mayor backs fireworks cancellation

28 Jan 2020

The City of Melbourne supported a state government move to scrap Australia Day fireworks in Docklands as a result of the ongoing bushfire crisis.

The decision was made as many Parks Victoria staff members, who are usually involved in the January 26 event, had been redeployed to the state’s east and northeast to assist in the bushfire effort.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp had no hesitation in backing the move.

“We fully support the Victorian Government’s decision to cancel Australia Day fireworks at Docklands. We understand the need to prioritise state resources in response to the bushfires.”

A government spokeswoman said they understood the decision may have disappointed some families, but it had to do what was best for those doing it tough throughout the state.

The fireworks were due to take place around 9pm on Harbour Esplanade on January 26.

Other aspects of the celebrations were unaffected, including music, dance, art and food trucks. However, the cancellation resulted in a significant drop in numbers from previous years, with resident Trevor Pollard describing the celebrations as “pathetic.”

“The council must have known crowd numbers would be down after cancelling the fireworks. Minuscule crowds spread on both sides of Victoria Harbour.”

The Docklands Chamber of Commerce also expressed its disappointment.

“Australia Day crowds were much smaller than expected. Some traders reported that it more closely resembled a normal Saturday night of trading rather than our iconic Australia Day celebrations.”

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