Australia rings in 2018: Things to know before the New Year’s Eve

By on
Fireworks in Sydney Harbour Bridge
Fireworks light up the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Reuters/Jason Reed

Sydney looks set for its $7 million fireworks display to welcome 2018. The New Year’s Eve fireworks display will feature a rainbow waterfall cascading from the Harbour Bridge as a way to celebrate the year that same-sex marriage got accepted in Australia.

Police are preparing to ensure security as Australian families prepare to ring in the New Year. New South Wales Counter Terrorism Minister David Elliott said that Aussies have been advised of a high probability of an attack. But it looked like the supposed terror threat is not stopping Australians from celebrating.

On New Year’s Eve, over a million people are expected to gather at the banks of Sydney Harbour for the display of fireworks. And since the event would involve a significant number of people, massive police and security officers will be watching.

Security forces ready

Officers will be armed with Colt M4 semi-automatic rifles. They will be ready to ensure the safety of the crowds during the celebrations. Security forces will be ready in case of mass stabbing or a vehicle attack. Riot squad officers will be equipped to launch a tactical armed assault to respond to high-risk situations. They are also armed with the military-style semi-automatic rifles.

Security is also being heighted in Melbourne with an emergency alert system. The system will be used for "class three emergencies.” These include a siege, riot, vehicle-borne attack and terrorist incident. "You should take some comfort in how various police forces around Australia are planning and acting,” Intelligent Risks' Neil Fergus said, according to 9News.

Road closures

For those planning to spend the New Year’s Eve outdoors, New South Wales authorities have warned of road closures throughout Sydney. These include the Harbour and Anzac bridges.

Road closures and barriers are expected to be set up in Brisbane to prevent vehicle style attacks. Bag checks will be conducted in certain areas. Perth and Adelaide will see similar measures.

Public transport and services

Over 4,500 additional public transport services will run to and from the city, reports The Daily Telegraph. The extra transport would be needed as revellers celebrate the end of 2017.

The public is urged to utilise buses and trains instead of cars during the celebrations. Authorities say it would be safer to use the public transport, especially when celebrations involve alcohol and driving is not an option.

ABC News (Australia)/YouTube