Sponsors secured for Skyworks fireworks

AUSTRALIA Day is set to once again go off with a bang in Ballarat in 2013.

The traditional Australia Day fireworks display at Lake Wendouree has been secured for another year, despite original concerns that the event would no longer be funded.

After struggling to deliver the 3BA Skyworks in January this year due to funding difficulties, there is now a guarantee the show will be held again on January 26 next year and hopefully for years to come.

3BA general manager John Fitzgibbon said a great deal of hard work had gone into ensuring the display was able to be fully funded.

He said people would hardly notice any difference to the traditional show.

“We were adamant we wanted it to go ahead. We can guarantee it will go ahead in 2013 and hopefully for more years to come,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

It was estimated between 20,000 and 25,000 people watched the fireworks last year, in what was the 22nd running of the event.

Increased costs in equipment, not to mention $20 million public liability insurance, saw finances stretched.

Mr Fitzgibbon said sponsors had since jumped on board and there had been some changes to make the production more cost-effective.

“We think it is vitally important that Ballarat retains this tradition that has been running for 23 years now,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“The public won’t even notice the change and we are looking forward to another huge event.”

The show will be set to a soundtrack broadcast on 3BA FM 102.3 and is scheduled for shortly after 9pm on Australia Day, Saturday, January 26, weather permitting.

Mr Fitzgibbon thanked University of Ballarat, as well as McDonald’s, Harvey Norman Ballarat, McCain Foods and Central Highlands Water for making the event possible.