Set up fireworks for New Year’s Eve in Canberra | Canberra Times


Canberra’s New Year’s Eve will continue with fireworks around Lake Burley Griffin for a socially distant event as the territory’s COVID-19 case grows. Fireworks Australia has been contracted by the ACT government to put the show up for a price of $ 99,000. Two 15-minute shows, at 21.00 and then midnight, will see fireworks fired over the lake’s eastern, western and central basins. “The fireworks barges will be in sync, so when it’s a purple, it’s going to be purple across the three pools – I think it’s going to look pretty cool,” said fireworks chief Martin Brady. The set-up of the event has begun, with crews putting barges on the lake in place Wednesday morning. About a dozen technicians will be involved, stationed in cabins around the lake at night, Mr Brady said. “Right from the start, there was a pretty strong COVID focus on the whole show, so it hasn’t changed,” he said of the plans for the show. Canberra has gone without fireworks for the past two years due to forest fires and then COVID-19 precautions. New Year’s Eve had previously been staged in Civic Square, but has been moved to the lake to allow spectators to spread out more. The event has historically attracted about 30,000 people, the government contract said, but the ongoing pandemic makes it difficult to assess the size of the event this year. The authorities’ new emphasis on personal responsibility, as Canberra continues to report hundreds of daily cases of COVID-19, may cause some Canberra residents to choose to stay here overnight. ACT reported 138 new cases of COVID-19 in 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday, down from a record 252 cases the day before. Others have dispersed and are leaving town to spend time with family and friends after another year of shutdowns. Health Secretary Rachel Stephen-Smith said Wednesday that people should still rely on preventative measures such as wearing masks during the festivities. “If you’re going to that New Year’s Eve event out on the lake, it’s spread out, it’s a great environment to be COVID-safe, circulating lots of fresh air,” she said. “But if you’re close to other people in a food line, or you’re sitting close to people you do not know, then put on your masks in that environment as well.” READ MORE: Andrew Stefanou, co-owner of Cannoli Brothers, one of the sellers, said it was an opportunity for companies like his to relaunch after two difficult years. “It was good to make a New Year’s Eve for the team and for the company, and then we’re back at the farmers markets in February and a lot of other events are happening,” he said. Stefanou is convinced that the event will take into account public health, but he would still take his precautions. “My team wants to wear protective gear and practice safe COVID practices … to minimize any risk to the team and to the public from my team,” he said. He said he had purchased rapid antigen tests for all his staff ahead of New Year’s Eve for added reassurance. Our coverage of the health and safety aspects of this outbreak of COVID-19 in ACT is free for all to access. However, we rely on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, sign up here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support. You can also sign up for our newsletters for regular updates. Our journalists work hard to deliver local, up-to-date news to the local community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:


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