Sydney’s NYE fireworks welcome the world to the first big party celebrating the new year, and the state government is making many of the city’s most popular viewing sites free for all again.
The previous NSW Liberal government introduced ticketed areas to government-owned sites on the Sydney Harbour foreshore in 2018 to howls of public anger and resentment.
The Minns Labor government announced on Sunday it would roll back the cover charges at many locations following an election commitment.
Fireworks viewing will be free again across Barangaroo Reserve, West Circular Quay, Campbells Cove, Hickson Road Reserve and parts of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and The Domain.
The iconic Mrs Macquarie’s Point, where partygoers previously paid from $12.50 to $520 for a spot, will also be free to attend.
It will be first come first served, with the most eager audiences expected at their favourite spots at least a day in advance.
Sites will be closed as they reach capacity.
Several public domain venues within Sydney Harbour will also be free, with access managed through a ticketing system.
These include Bradleys Head, Strickland Estate, Clark Island, Goat Island and Shark Island.
There will still be smoke and alcohol-free spots throughout the city and free access managed through a ticketing system will remain for the NYE on the Cahill Expressway event.
The changes will allow about 60,000 Sydneysiders and visitors to once again access some of the harbour’s best vantage points free of charge.
They also mean relevant NSW government agencies will miss out on $5 million in revenue but Premier Chris Minns said Sydneysiders should not be gouged for using their own city.
“New Year’s Eve on Sydney Harbour is one of the first celebrated around the world, so for a full 24 hours there’s images of (the harbour) being beamed around the world,” he said on Sunday.
“We want those foreshores packed with tourists and Sydneysiders to send a message to the world – come to Sydney, have a party, spend money and get our economy absolutely pumping again.”
Mr Minns said his government wanted to stop the “creeping commercialisation” of prime public land.
“This is a great part of Sydney’s history to have access to this beautiful part of the foreshore and we are democratising it and making sure it’s available to the families of this state,” he said.
Limited exemptions have been provided to two charities, the Taronga Conservation Society of Australia and the Royal Botanic Gardens Foundation, to continue their annual New Year’s Eve fundraisers via entry cover charges.
https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/nsw/sydney/2023/09/03/nsw-ends-nye-fireworks-bookings/ NSW ends ticketing for most NYE fireworks viewing sites