Are Public Funded Fireworks a Waste of Money?

Given the millions of public dollars that are converted to light, noise and smoke tonight…..

Poll Options

  • 644
    No
  • 362
    Yes

Comments

  • +98 votes

    They bring in tourists and locals who spend lots of $ in shops so the fireworks could easily bring in a profit.

    • +103 votes

      Yes Sydney NYE fireworks are nearly as famous as New York's. They literally attract people from all over the world.

      • +83 votes

        They are actually more famous than New York's.

        • +27 votes

          Yes, approximately 40% of those who come to watch the fireworks are foreign tourists.

        •  

          Then why can't i be bothered getting out of bed for them these days, even though i can see them from where i live?

          Once i managed to get close to the front at Mrs Macquarie's Chair. And then when they started what happened? This collective of tools that were accompanying me pulled out their smart phones and started taking video footage. All i saw was smart phone screens, with little fireworks going off within them. Complete waste of flucking time.

          Having said that, it does bring money into the state…

        • +23 votes

          @AngryChicken: I understand the compulsion to film every event; to archive every aspect of our lives. But watching people film things like concerts or fireworks with a phone from the crowd annoys the crap out of me.
          The experience just does NOT translate to a phone recording and anyone you show your shaky, low quality, compressed footage to is just going to be bored senseless waiting for it to be over.
          The strongest reaction anyone is going to have to a recording of one of these events is from the stranger behind you who is getting pissed off they now have a phone in their face while trying to enjoy the spectacle.

        • +20 votes

          But how am I going to show my Facebook friends how cool and interesting my life is?

        •  

          @AngryChicken: because they are for the tourists more than anything, whether you can be bothered with them is irrelevant. They bring in money to the city, At a guess I would say the local businesses profit far more from them then they cost to host. yes plenty of morons care more for capturing things on their phones rather than experiencing the event but who cares, as long as they are coming and spending money here.

        • +1 vote

          @gromit: No, no, don't give me that. The State should be deeply deeply obsessed about my welfare and frustration levels and issue my own throne with top viewing angles. I will then be bothered, and the world will know that i could be relevantly bothered, to view said fireworks. Don't you go popping my bubble.

        • +1 vote

          @fruit: Don't worry fruitcake, i'll be able to climb my personal throne no problemo.

        •  

          @thedarb: so well put mate! that was my exact feeling when i see people recording with their mobilephones instead of enjoying the spectacle.

        • -1 vote

          More did you see there display 4 July better in new your.

        • +1 vote

          @thedarb:

          Well said. I was at Southbank recently and had an obnoxious fool pull out his ipad and proceed to record the fireworks. Needless to say the people behind him, myself included, were suitably unimpressed.

        • +5 votes

          @AngryChicken: i waited all day down at Milsons pt / Kirribilli to get a top spot front row last year… then at the eleventh hour (literally) ended up sharing it with a proper full size TV camera / cameraman that was told he had to reposition after the 9pm show for different view at midnight… he was really good about it trying to share real estate though and apologetic.

          My wife had to sit down under/beside the camera and I, being tall, had to look over it! Was still good though, we came down from Queensland for it and stayed for a week holiday.

          Wouldn't do it every year but glad we did. However I was concerned about how much rubbish people left behind for the harbour, people are pigs. The council clean it quick, but if it rains immediately after, lots will go into the water.

          I was going to film it then realised, why, i can literally watch my view on TV taken by a professional!

        •  

          @Baniya:

          Wheres your proof.

        •  

          @ninetyNineCents:

          I remember reading it on the abc news website.

          Here is the link:
          http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-30/revellers-already-l...

          And the quote:
          Tourism and Transport Forum chief executive Margy Osmond said hundreds of thousands of tourists were expected. "Of the 1.6 million people who'll be around the edge of harbour tomorrow night, about 46 per cent of them will likely be international visitors," she said.

          (It was 46% not 40%)

          Cheers

        •  

          @Baniya:

          Thats right it says "likely", in other words she is making it up.

          The only way to know would be to conduct a survey. You could ask everyone in a one small section of the entire area and then multiple that by some factor. But the article doesnt say that at all… MO just pulls a number of out of her arse.

          On election day, once the votes are counted they dont say likely X won, they say X won and they share the numbers. Likely is only used during times early in the night when they are guessing because the votes havent been counted in full.

      • -37 votes

        And there are FAR better options than Sydney.

        Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast has fireworks by the beach … sandy beach where millions can sit (granted, on the sandy sand) without claiming a spot 9 hours early.
        Also along a stretched beach you can enjoy viewing fireworks on multiple locations: Coolangatta, Broadbeach, Surfers, Runnaway Beach. And beyond :-) All at once and from one spot.

        Nope, I am not associated to anyone … I just live here :-]

        Answering the thread: BEST money spend on something public, accessible to everyone. FREE to everyone. Absolutely well spent funds.

        • +34 votes

          I disagree, I've done the Gold Coast and Sydney and Sydney blows the qld ones away.

        • +1 vote

          Agreed!

        • +6 votes

          It is so stupid to conpare Sydney fireworks to Surfers fireworks. I have watched Sydney 3 times and Gold Coast 2 times. There is simply no comparison. Sydney’s fireworks is internationally famous and Goldcoast’s fireworks is so cheap, and more like for locals, can’t even compare to Southbank Brisbane.

        • +3 votes

          @ttc72: Obviously Sydney is first and the capital of the world when it comes to the New year's reception and the celebrations while New York is one day behind. But not every tourist who jumps on the Down under wonderland ends up in Sydney, so they are all welcome.
          I personally am not interested in watching the fireworks that much, but absolutely support any tax money spent on keeping this great nation happier and better entertained.

        •  

          @ttc72:

          I disagree, I've done the Gold Coast and Sydney and Sydney blows the qld ones away.

          When was that?
          Were you there or was it on TV?

          And the magic is not dumpy, seedy Surfers alone. Is the fact that if you are comfy and relaxed in Broadbeach you will see fireworks to the North up to Runaway Bay (that is about 30Km)

          Not much of a view from Mrs Macquarie's Point. Been there, done that.
          Spectacular? O YESSSSS!!!!
          Busy? Bloody hell it was.
          And expensive. And crowded.
          But yes, fireworks looked just spectacular.
          From my limited view point, of course.

        •  

          @living4music:

          can’t even compare to Southbank Brisbane.

          It is the beach. The beach is the magic backdrop. The beach. The view. The beach.
          That sandy ocean beach that does NOT exist in Brisbane ;-P

        • +1 vote

          Mate even the local fireworks at Coogee beach in Sydney on NYE is better than the Gold Coast!

        •  

          @serpserpserp:

          Where is Coogee beach? Is there a beach around the high density housing?

        •  

          @LFO: from your perspective, I think you only want somewhere with sand and not crowded, even though the fireworks are shit. This post is about the fireworks, not the sand, not the crowd. I live in Brisbane, have watched fireworks almost every major city is Aus multiple times. Can you swim at 12am midnight while watching the fireworks, with sand and people around? Yes it is possible in Southbank.

        • +1 vote

          @living4music:

          lol but that high density housing tho! rolls eyes

        •  

          I've had much better fireworks experiences at small town shows (than any big cities) because you spectate from a lot closer and can really feel the boom and be surrounded by flaming sky.

        •  

          @LFO:

          I was in Sydney to see the Sydney fireworks, watched them from McMahons point.
          I've also been to the fireworks in Brisbane as I live in Queensland, when I first moved up here from Victoria I went to the surfers ones, and went again a few years later. (watched from up near Labrador that time)
          I believe I am indeed qualified to say that the Sydney ones make the ones up here look like they're done by a 50 year old logan bogan who's stoned.

    • +4 votes

      Sydney Fireworks is the BEST IN THE WORLD !

      • +4 votes

        That's just in your opinion of course.

        • +3 votes

          That's just in your opinion of course.

          And millions of others too. There's a reason why its fireworks are considered among the best in the world, and this is coming from a Melbournian!

        • -11 votes

          @Cyphar:

          One wonders where you have got your information from about 'millions' sharing the same view as tomleonhart.
          Of course one expects every Australian to think that whatever happens in, or by, anything Australian is the greatest there has ever been, whether that be a load of rubbish or not, so one wouldn't expect anything different from your reply.

          Had tomleonhart used your more accurate remark of 'considered among the best in the world' in his post or just simply 'I consider the Sydney Fireworks to be the best in the World' then his post wouldn't have prompted my reply.

        • +3 votes

          @cockneylondoner: I can tell that you must be a blast at parties.

        •  

          @cockneylondoner:

          Of course one expects every Australian to think that whatever happens in, or by, anything Australian is the greatest there has ever been, whether that be a load of rubbish or not, so one wouldn't expect anything different from your reply.

          That's what one expects, does one? One ought to listen to the English occasionally to truly appreciate the art of unwarranted national self-adoration, particularly with regards sport…

        •  

          Must not have seen London's

        • -6 votes

          @Cyphar:

          Actually I've always been the life and soul of the MANY Aussie Parties that I've been invited to especially when I've taken the trouble to educate the local colonials, or perhaps their silent moments have more realistically been caused by them over indulging in the grog.

        •  

          @cockneylondoner: Ok Buzz Killington

        •  

          Don't feed the troll folks (or waste your negs). He is trying way too hard to solicit a response that now he's making crap up in desperation.

      •  

        But Taipei 101 has always been topping the charts all these years. Sydney 2000 was actually THE BEST in the world at that time.

      • -7 votes

        Down vote for lying. Sydney Fireworks are shit compared to what other countries get.

        • +4 votes

          These guys going on about the Sydney Fireworks have no clue what happens in Asian countries.

        • +1 vote

          @AussieB: I am fully aware of what going on in Asian countries actually ;) Spent my previous NYE in Taipei(2012), Hong Kong(2014), Singapore(2005), Seoul(2010), Ho Chi Minh City(2000 - 2004), Tokyo(2015) and Auckland(2016). Non come comes to the atmosphere the Sydney Harbour Bridge created in 2009 and 2013!

          Watched the replay for New York, London, Berlin and they feel like Meh.

        • -1 vote

          @AussieB:

          These guys going on about the Sydney Fireworks have no clue what happens in Asian countries.

          Agree.
          Even insisting with that geographical fantasy that Sydney is first … don't do they have world maps in Sydney? … with longitude lines? … longiwhat?
          Head under the sand syndrome.

        • -4 votes

          @tomleonhart:

          I am fully aware of what going on in Asian countries actually ;)

          You might be aware, but …

          1. watching it in TV does not count. It is not about filmography and smart editing, it is all about open air fireworks. Live. Close and personal.

          2. Firework technology changes by the minute (so it seems). Sydney 1999 has absolutely nothing to do with Sydney 2017. Apples to apples.

        •  

          @LFO: so in your actual experience, which city has the best firework display? If it looks good I might even pay it a visit next year. :)

          Edit: saw your comment above, won't bother. lol

        • -3 votes

          @tomleonhart:

          so in your actual experience, which city has the best firework display?

          Absolutely NO IDEA.

          Because I live here, I enjoy our local fireworks here. Easy access. I can even drive, park, walk 4 or 5 minutes, watch, walk back, drive home. Try that anywhere else. In the world.

          Gorgeous Full Moon? Stunning low tides? (2015? 2014?) watch the fireworks and walk along the moonlit sandy beach for hours… (sort of…)

          Starving for fireworks? watch the 21:00 and then the 24:00 fireworks display. This year it has been 20:00, 22:00 and also 24:00. You end up with fireworks indigestion!!!

        •  

          @LFO:
          Are you saying he didn't go and see them live?

        •  

          I got down voted by all the "straya (profanity)" bogans, feed me your downvotes, I need #1 downvotes, go go go

        •  

          @tomleonhart: We are talking about the fireworks, not Atmosphere you twink

        •  

          @nobarginsarehere: no need for name calling ;) you said people are not aware of what's going on in Asia and I point out that since I travel for a living, I'm very much aware.

          And so in your actual experience, which Asian city has better firework display than Sydney ?

        • +1 vote

          @tomleonhart: Don't bother with London or Prague. I mean yes it was nice.. but was it worth staying out all night in the absolute freezing cold? HELL NO! As nice as Sydney or even Melbourne? NUP! In countries where fireworks are not banned, they do not put as much effort into them as Sydney or Melbourne does. Also like I said it is usually freezing bloody cold… not so nice to stay out for really.

      • +1 vote

        Doubtful best in the world, but I dare say it is the best in Australia.

    • +2 votes

      Profit to whom?

      •  

        Local retailers, and therefore council and government. That's direct costs of people spending money on the day. There's also the indirect costs associated with marketing and tourism.

        •  

          Any thought on what @homersimpson has written below?

        • +1 vote

          Its nice when the tax payer pays for the fireworks, police/security, cleaning so a few can make profits.

        •  

          @El Cap:

          I'm not going to pretend they are a net profit. They don't need to be. In the same way that parks cost Councils and Governments money to maintain, and those funds come largely from people who don't necessarily use the parks. They still offer a net benefit to society as a whole.

          An every man for himself society doesn't sound like one I'd want to live in.

        •  

          @Blunglefortness: Neither do I want to live in such a society.

          I also prefer when people don't change the question when they answer. The question I asked was what profit Quantumcat was referring to. It is clear he is talking about monetary gains.

          Had she said there is a benefit to society, it would have been a different question.

          I'm not going to pretend they are a net profit. They don't need to be.

          Well, looking at your previous answer, it seems you did pretend.

      •  

        Can boot up our premier minister's property value.

    • +4 votes

      Don't discount the cost of additional police, ambos, cleaners, public transportation etc.

      • +1 vote

        Which is a less than if thousands of families each have their own private fireworks

        • +1 vote

          I am not advocating private fireworks. I am just saying that in the millions of dollars that cost to do fireworks, are these additional expenses included or are these separate.

        •  

          @homersimpson: Yeah true people don't really think of that part, just the cost of the actual physical fireworks

    •  

      No they dont, people have always come to Australia because its a great place.

      Many places with significant numbers of tourists in Australia dont have fireworks.

  • +33 votes

    Advertising costs a lot too. To be broadcast around the world as an attractive, safe destination in invaluable.

    It's lunch time in Europe. Late evening in China. Morning in the USA. It's expensive to book all that advertising and the media is willing to broadcast it for free so the bigger the more likely it'll be broadcast instead of other cities.

    •  

      But who wants more people in Australia or Sydney ?

      Sydney has turned into one large sewerage of people, trains, roads, beaches, parks, everywhere its like a box full of cockeroaches.

      •  

        Tourism brings in a lot of money especially in Sydney. Millions of people visit Sydney each year.

        •  

          Yes it brings in more money TO SOME people/businesses. The vast majority see none of the money and experience mostly ALL the negatives i mention and end up paying for many things to cope with the extra numbers.

  • +133 votes

    Not everyone has the money to do things, sometimes free events and spectacles like this can really cheer up people who have very little.

    • +39 votes

      And even if you have a lot too.
      We deserve the government to do nice things for us, where their ability to organise for a whole community provides advantages over everyone doing their own thing.
      A community fireworks display is a good example.

      •  

        What advantages? I had fun in Beijing for Chinese New Year. Putting aside the numerous other issues with the Chinese government, isn't there something to be said for making spending money on fireworks optional (as it is in China), rather than compulsory (via Australian tax)?

        • +6 votes

          I can't organise a fireworks display of the same scale as my government. Nor can you.
          We used to have rules that included access to home displays, but it is worth remembering even then we also had organised government displays as well.

          As noted above, a number of individuals made private casual fireworks a problem. When they were banned, there were regular stories of child injury and animal cruelty. I personally think we should retain the freedom to have access to fireworks, but it doesn't surprise me that most in society in Australia might support a ban.

          For what it is worth, Google suggests Beijing has public fireworks as well as private, so it isn't the case they don't spend the public money.

        • -2 votes

          @mskeggs:
          1. "I can't organise a fireworks display of the same scale as my government"? Hah, of course not, because they prohibit it. Also, "same scale"? Have you seen New Year in Beijing? Lol.
          2. Have you got a source re: the Beijing public funding? I couldn't find one. Just interested. If you're right, then you make an excellent point.
          3. Prevention of child injury and animal cruelty (?) is more to do with a government's ability to prohibit than "[a government's] ability to organise for a whole community".

        • -2 votes

          @mskeggs: what does fireworks have to do with child abuse and animal cruelty?

        •  

          @Quantumcat:

          They said child injury, not child abuse.

          Child injury due to burns, and animal cruelty due to burns and also freaking out animals - many pet owners hate New Years because of the animals getting scared.

        •  

          @Blunglefortness:
          The stories I remember were cases where people tied a firework to a cats tail, and one gruesome one that I remember the photos was a magpie that had a firework taped inside its feet. I remember the bird died, and think the cats and maybe dogs, were also harmed needing vets treatment. I don’t remember if the bigger animals were killed.

          As I say, I think people should have fireworks, on balance, but I also remember being an irresponsible kid with access to gunpowder and making pipe bombs, and more innocently, taping them up to make a ‘fizzer’ explode in a ‘bunger’.
          We never caused more trouble that a lid blown off a garbage bin, or letter box, so I can see why it would be a pain to others, and that some people don’t have a good compass to understand where mischief turns into bad stuff. And every year there were stories of somebody getting badly hurt.

          To be clear, when I was a kid in the 80s, nobody much cared if dogs were upset by a loud noise on cracker night, in much the same way I assume it is these days in China, it was recognised that if you tied them up for the evening they would be fine later.

        • +1 vote

          @Waldo000000:
          I agree that there is scope for a bunch of individuals to make a nice instantaneous display, but the (in my opinion to much) display in Sydney or other big cities needs government to be a spectacle. China especially, obviously has a cultural history of large numbers of small local fireworks, and I wouldn’t seek to change that.
          But I also see photos, easily found, of coordinated fireworks over the forbidden city, for example, that show a display not readily produced by individuals. If you read Chinese you might be able to find internet links on Chinese public fireworks, I don’t, but have happily watched them in Hong Kong, and yet to spend new year of any sort in Beijing.

          In terms of my old man, get off my lawn element, I do feel Australian society has changed so that a modest backyard display that maybe brought a neighbour round would, these days, become a ‘keeping up with the jones’ fire danger as a few sought to overdo it. When I go camping I see plenty of people ignorant of simple fire safety, so I worry handing them gunpowder would be a menace….

          Yet, even so, I think the benefit kids would get from a night of a little wildness would ultimately be a benefit to society. We can’t easily measure what we lose when we ban this kind of stuff, and some things, like extra self confidence away from mum’s apron strings, a night when the usual rules don’t apply, and a bit of out door fun and excitement I do believe help shape kids to be better adults. If only because they look back on bad risks and poor choices and learn from them.

          I have no doubt there will be parents who will reply there is no risk to small to minimise for little Tarquins, but sometimes it feels good to be alive and stare (even tiny, imagined) death in the face without mum or dad as your protector.
          For the record, last chance I got to do private fireworks, when my daughter was 2yro in the UK, I grabbed it, to my wife’s bemusement.

        •  

          @Blunglefortness: "when they were banned, there were regular stories of child injury and animal cruelty".

          Why would banning them result in child injury and animal cruelty?? That makes no sense. You'd think it would be the opposite.

        •  

          @Quantumcat:

          … all directly correlates to unwanted touching, pay inequality and the Glass Ceiling. (and whatever else works)
          MeToo.

    •  

      Touching comment

  • +14 votes

    there's a flow on effect. Hotels, car rental, alcohol, food, event services, tourism. etc

    • +5 votes

      Exactly - Just from a hotel perspective the Sydney market makes about 750K extra on that one night alone, just on room rate. Extra will of course be spent in F&B, Entertainment and Retail.

      • -3 votes

        Only $750k?

      • +3 votes

        I recalled this too when I used to work for a hotel on George Street from 2007 to 2012. Average room rate is $109 and the cheapest room rate for NYE was $1050. with 165 rooms, it translated to quite a lot of revenue on 31/12 alone.

        I remember telling my colleague I rather sleep on the street

      •  

        Wow so the tax payer pays for millions in fireworks, security, cleaning and lots of other things so a few hotels can make $750k.

        WOuld be cheaper to "pay" the hotels those profits and skip the rest of the show.

  • +61 votes

    Drop in the water compared to the waste by state and federal government. At least we get something out of this.

    • +12 votes

      My thinking exactly. Why spend money on fireworks when we can piss it away on copper wires? /s

    •  

      @NoPantsToday: Or a firework up in flames
      (in comparison to the money wasted on Sydney Water (such as all the entrenched corruption, let alone gold rusting in all those extra pipes, the desalination plant, etc. over the last few years)

      All public monies wasted for personal gain/greed.

      Fireworks are no different- the more they spend, the more they get recognised (priceless PR value for the pollies, @$%! the country, let that choke and burn!)

  • +11 votes

    Before the insane took over we used to buy our own.