Desmond Bellamy, PETA Australia
Last year, in the middle of those terrible bushfires, the NSW government refused to cancel the New Year fireworks, despite calls from within its own coalition ranks to do so. Despite the devastation, we were told it was too late to cancel the display.
It’s not too late this year, yet the premier is already promoting the event, three months out, and offering to pay for it, with taxpayer money.
If the government has money to burn (literally) on fireworks, why not invest in twenty-first century technology used in other cities, such as little drones fitted with lights and able to create anything from flags, to people, to spectacular designs. And they are silent, which would prevent dogs, cats, wildlife, and humans from being alarmed by explosions. Each year, animal centres have to rescue lost dogs who panic and break loose from leads or jump over fences or even through glass windows in an attempt to get away from the terrifying sounds.
Best of all, drones don’t leave a pall of smoke over the city, polluting our lungs and acting as an unwelcome reminder of the past year.