Businesses of Sydney, donate 5% of your NYE turnover to drought and fire victims.

Businesses of Sydney, donate 5% of your NYE turnover to drought and fire victims.

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Andrew Richards started this petition to Clover Moore (Sydney Lord Mayor) and

There can be no question that NSW is in the grip of both a serious drought and a bushfire crisis. In response to this, many have stated that they feel that New Years Eve Fireworks Displays should be cancelled and the funds given to fire and drought victims directly; one change.org petition advocating for this has already attracted over 200,000 signatures. The problem with this approach however, is twofold.

Firstly as NYE fireworks events are budgeted and planned for 15 months in advance, not only is the money already spent for the NYE 2019 fireworks display, but a significant portion of what is allocated for the NYE 2020 fireworks display may already have been spent. That means that we could potentially be waiting 2 years before what is being advocated for in the change.org petition could actually be acted upon.

Secondly this plan could be every bit as catastrophic for businesses in the Sydney CBD and greater Sydney, as the fires and drought are for regional Australia. It is estimated that while the fireworks themselves only cost $5.8 million to hold, they actually bring in tourism revenue to businesses to the tune of $133 million - roughly 23 times what the fireworks themselves cost. Not only would this loss be devastating, but I cannot imagine that those who have lost their livelihoods in regional Australia would want to be helped at the cost of other Australians losing their livelihoods.

As such, a far better and more immediate solution than cancelling the fireworks, would be for those who benefit from them to pay it forward.

If all businesses who benefited from tourism business which the Sydney NYE fireworks display generates, were to donate just 5% of their turnover for that period, it would raise $6.65 million, almost a million dollars more than what it costs to put on the fireworks displays to begin with, which should still be manageable for most businesses, whilst giving them a very handy tax write-off. Everyone wins. The fundraising effort could even be expanded so that visiting tourists were encouraged to make a donation themselves, further increasing the success of this fundraising effort.

Rather than seeing the fireworks as a negative, we should instead be seeing it as an opportunity for all of us to roll up our sleeves and help Australians who are doing it tough.

All this requires to be successful, is leadership my Lord Mayor Clover Moore, and the CBD Sydney Chamber of Commerce.

While it's probably too late for it to happen this year, let's use the Sydney NYE Fireworks displays of 2020, to give rural Australians a helping hand, to get their 2021 off to a happier start.

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