Sydney is ushering in 2017 with its renowned fireworks extravaganza over the city’s iconic harbour. But like other countries around the world welcoming the New Year, the celebrations in Australia are being held amid heightened security in the wake of the deadly terror attacks in Berlin and Nice. The South Pacific island nations of Tonga and Samoa were among the first places in the world to see in the New Year with fireworks at 10am UK time. Auckland in New Zealand started its New Year party an hour later, with a countdown at the city’s Sky Tower followed by a firework and laser show.
This year, sadly, we saw the loss of many music and entertainment legends around the world. So celebrating their music as part of Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks displays is an opportunity to reflect on the year that has been and what the future may hold.
Fireworks co-producer Catherine Flanagan
An extra 2,000 police officers have been drafted in to the city while buses will be used to close off some pedestrian areas amid fears about a repeat of this year’s extremist atrocities in France and Germany. In Paris, 600,000 people are expected to watch the firework display on the Champs-Elysees, where security searches will be carried out. In New York’s Times Square, where the famed glitter ball is due to descend at 5am UK time on 1 January, dozens of 20-ton refuse lorries weighted with an extra 15 tons of sand will block the streets around the celebrations, while there will be about 7,000 police officers on patrol. In the Indian capital New Delhi and many other of the country’s cities, security has been tightened around shopping centres and restaurants.
We must remain vigilant at all times, and we are asking citizens to also be vigilant.
French Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux