Newcastle’s New Year’s Eve Foreshore fireworks cancelled.

Newcastle will not have its annual New Year’s Eve fireworks and concert at the harbour due to projected risks with mass gatherings.

The event attracted an estimated 30,000 people to the Foreshore last year.

Council decided in the interest of community safety and will now plan for smaller alternative celebrations.

Newcastle City Police District Commander, Detective Superintendent Wayne Humphrey APM says the risk of large gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic remains of a high concern.

New South Wales Police will respond to whatever decision the council makes regarding the event.

However, the dangers posed by moving tens of thousands of people into and out of the Foreshore precinct for the 9pm fireworks display remains quite high in the current pandemic conditions.”

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said while a major event on the Foreshore will not go ahead, the City is investigating a once off different New Year’s celebration with a series of smaller events throughout the city, pending any public health measures in place in late December.

The decision to not go ahead with this year’s fireworks and concert event is a sad one to make, but it has been made with our community’s safety in mind,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

Through liaison with key stakeholders including NSW Police, the City has determined that the transport of thousands of people into and out of the Foreshore precinct would almost certainly lead to pinch points constituting a mass gathering where social distancing is impossible to maintain.

As we have seen both in Australia and overseas, the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to worsen quickly, so we naturally have concerns around the delivery of an event that attracts between thirty and forty thousand people into the Foreshore.

With a high number of COVID safe businesses operating through the city, the cancellation could free up the transport network for people to access hospitality venues and reach celebrations in smaller controlled groups.

Council said it will release more information about the 2021 New Year’s events in coming weeks.