Stricter regulations and an increase in funding requirements have resulted in the cancellation of the Terrigal New Year’s Eve fireworks.
Event organiser, David Lambert, said this year’s fireworks were cancelled due to a number of issues, the most prominent being the increased expense of running the event compared to last year, and a series of new restrictions imposed on the event via Central Coast Council.
According to Lambert, he decided to pull the pin on the 2018-19 fireworks in April, after the application he submitted to Council lingered for four months.
“Australia, as a whole, has put a microscope on fireworks, after the incident in Bunbury, WA, on New Year’s 2017-18, which saw four people injured by a malfunctioning firework.
“Council introduced a number of new restrictions for this year’s event, and it just became too hard for an individual to coordinate,” Lambert said.
Restrictions cited by Lambert included traffic management, road closures, extra toilets and the procurement of a specialist barge from Sydney, which would have cost $17,000, to launch the fireworks from.
“There were a number of issues with securing the barge that made it not worth the cost, so we then thought about moving the event to The Haven, but Council then insisted we barricade the entirety of the area and deploy additional security, which blew costs out further,” Lambert said.
“We were also unable to attract a major sponsor for this year’s event, and given that our cost estimates were around $60,000, it just became unmanageable.
“Honestly, given the number of restrictions now in place, this event should be handled by a government body not an individual,” Lambert said.
Lambert said he did not believe the firework malfunction which interrupted last year’s event had an effect on the planning of this year’s fireworks.
Last year’s event was the first time New Year’s Eve fireworks were displayed at Terrigal in 18 years.
Lambert said a lack of support from the Terrigal business community was another factor that attributed to the cancellation of the fireworks.
Despite the cancellation, Lambert said the Terrigal Community Carols will still be going ahead.
They will be held along the Terrigal Beach Foreshore, near the ANZAC Memorial, from 6pm on December 10.
All money raised from the carols will be donated to the Cancer Council.
Interview, Nov 7
David Lambert, Neverest Events
Dilon Luke, Journalist