Sydneysiders may yet get their family-friendly harbourside fireworks display on New Year's Eve, despite the City of Sydney announcing its cancellation.
It would be the second consecutive year the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of Sydney's 9pm fireworks on Sydney Harbour before the main event at midnight.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian offered hope that the 9pm fireworks might go ahead, just a day after the City of Sydney announced the earlier fireworks show had been cancelled to ensure the celebrations meet pandemic public health orders.
"Last year the Sydney council decided to do that and we stepped in and did it," she told reporters on Wednesday.
"I would think that no matter what happens, no matter what situation we are in, the fireworks are always a sigh of hope for the new year and the NSW government is considering its options," she said.
The council announcement triggered a backlash from the business community which said the cancellation would be a major blow to the economic recovery of the city's CBD.
Business Sydney said with vaccination rates expected to be over 80 per cent by December 31, the decision was premature.
"New Year's Eve is 102 days away and with the current vaccination rate progressing so well, it seems unnecessary to cancel them now, as businesses in the city were relying on the iconic event to boost recovery after months of lockdown," Business Sydney executive director Paul Nicolaou said.
"The consequences ... will be devastating for hundreds of businesses around the Rocks, Circular Quay and Darling Harbour who were looking forward to recouping some of their huge economic losses throughout this long lockdown."
Australian Associated Press