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Wollongong City Council

Illuminating New Year’s Eve & Australia Day

Tuesday 27 October 2020

Wollongong City Council is making some changes to our New Year’s Eve 2020 and Australia Day 2021 events.

The decision to make these changes was not made lightly, and is in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic and Council’s focus on putting the health, safety and wellbeing of our community first.

“I am sure it will come as no surprise to many that we will not be holding a major fireworks event on New Year’s Eve and nor will we be closing off the harbour area for food and entertainment,’’ Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.

“As much as we all wish we could continue to mark the end of this challenging year that has thrown us many, many demanding circumstances, it isn’t right to continue as normal.

“We need to focus on maintaining social distancing, and to look after ourselves, our loved ones and our community. That’s why we will have a scaled-down event featuring a two-hour lighting display on both Belmore Basin and Flagstaff Hill lighthouses for New Year’s Eve. It’ll provide a special sight for the evening, which people can watch from a distance or drop by, watch and then head home to welcome in 2021 with their loved ones or friends.’’

Similarly, the Australia Day Committee is planning a downsized event that will feature a fly over by four aircraft from HARS during the day, some online youth content and, in the evening, a series of three light installations at a location near Lake Illawarra, one in the Wollongong Harbour precinct, and one in the northern suburbs.

The light installations will mix laser and other lighting effects and run for about an hour each.

“The lighting displays will be held instead of the usual day-long celebrations around Wollongong Harbour and Lang Park,’’ Cr Bradbery said.

“We will continue with the Australia Day awards and Australia Day Citizenship ceremonies but we’ll be making some changes to these events to ensure they comply with the latest advice from NSW Health.’’

Cr Bradbery thanked the community for their understanding of Council’s decision.

“This is the right decision for this difficult time,’’ Cr Bradbery said.

“Coronavirus has thrown us a real curveball this year and you only have to look outside Australia’s borders to Europe and the US to see the immense challenge we could have faced. It’s important we continue to follow the latest advice to control the virus.

“This is not the time for taking risks – whether at a large-scale event or by not being mindful to keep your distance from others at all times.’’

We will be sure to share updates about New Year’s Eve and Australia Day on Council’s social media pages.