Advocacy for a Public Ballot for NYE Fireworks 2020

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations Determined


Moved by Councillor Scott, seconded by Councillor Vithoulkas -

It is resolved that:

(A)      Council note:

(i)         the NSW Government has assumed control of and responsibility for the New Year's Eve fireworks display for 31 December 2020 from the City of Sydney;

(ii)        the Premier and Treasurer have announced a 10-minute display at midnight only, with no 9pm fireworks for families; and

(iii)      private venues such as restaurants and office buildings will be allowed to hold ticketed events;

(B)      Council recognise that in the past, including in 2019, the NSW Government approved private, sectioned off areas of the Royal Botanic Gardens available only to those who could pay $350 or more plus booking fee per person. This is in contradiction of the gardens being designated public space since 1816;

(C)      further to this, Council recognise other public spaces used in the same manner for New Year's Eve, including Barangaroo Reserve at $41.80 per head to enter for the fireworks display, Goat Island, Shark Island and Cockatoo Island;

(D)      Council strongly advocate to the NSW Government that any public access to the 2020 NYE fireworks display be by way of a public ballot and free of cost to those entering or successfully in receipt of a ticket for the event; and

(E)      the Lord Mayor be requested to write to the Premier to seek her support for reinstating 9pm fireworks for families, and to the Prime Minister and the Premier seeking their support for a free public ballot to allow free access for the public to Federal or NSW Government, or City of Sydney public spaces, on NYE 2020.

The motion was lost on the following show of hands –

Ayes (2)          Councillors Scott and Vithoulkas

Noes (8)          The Chair (the Lord Mayor), Councillors Chung, Forster, Kok, Miller, Phelps, Scully, and Thalis.

Motion lost.



Report author: Erin Cashman

Publication date: 26/10/2020

Date of decision: 26/10/2020

Decided at meeting: 26/10/2020 - Council

Accompanying Documents: