City of Parramatta Council has decided not to proceed with the fireworks display at its upcoming Australia Day event in light of the ongoing bushfire crisis.
“With continuing concerns about the threat of fires, and as a mark of solidarity with the many communities affected by the fires across the country, City of Parramatta Council has made the decision to cancel the fireworks component of this year’s Australia Day event,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer said.
“Council will be donating $40,000 to the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS), in addition to the $10,000 we donated in December.
“While I know the fireworks are always a popular part of our event, we feel it would be inappropriate to proceed given the current circumstances. The good news is the rest of our exciting free 15-hour Australia Day program will continue as planned, so I encourage everyone to come to Parramatta Park to join in the celebrations.”
“When things get tough, Australians stick together; let’s use this Australia Day to show our support and help those communities impacted by the devastating bushfires get back on their feet. I encourage everyone to embrace the Aussie spirit and lend a hand in any way they can,” Cr Dwyer said.
At the Australia Day event, volunteers will be running a fundraising stall where attendees can write a message of thanks and support to our firefighters, and donate money to the Rural Fire Service Association (RFSA). The stall, which will be located at the George Street Gatehouse entrance, is the initiative of the 2019 City of Parramatta Young Citizen of the Year, Pariselle Hughes. Funds raised will go towards purchasing much needed equipment for fire stations across NSW
Council is also liaising with the NSW Office of Local Government to support the Local Government Bushfire Recovery Support Group in coordinating offers of assistance from councils across the State to bushfire-affected communities.
The 2020 Australia Day event program includes a hot air balloon display; CARnivale vintage car showcase; live music program; kids’ entertainment, including Bananas in Pyjamas and Sesame Street Down Under; a barbecue food area; and an evening concert headlined by ‘Sheppard’; plus much more.