Australia has welcomed in the new decade with its iconic Sydney fireworks display.
The country shuffled into the new year 11 hours ahead of us in the UK and our pals in Aussie certainly know how to put on a show.
However, celebrations Down Under were overshadowed by the horrendous bushfires that have torn through the country in recent weeks.
Ahead of New Year's Eve, and in response to the deadly fires, one resident launched a petition calling on officials to ban fireworks and to give the cash used for the display to firefighters, farmers and animal carers.
The petition, which has over 280,000 signatures, reads: "Say no to fireworks NYE 2019, give the money to farmers and firefighters.
"2019 has been a catastrophic year in Australia for floods and fires. Give the money we spend on fireworks on New Year's Eve to farmers and firefighters and animal carers.
"Save Australia's wildlife. $5.8 million was spent in Sydney alone for fireworks last year.
The Sydney Harbour fireworks have been approved to proceed tomorrow.
The NSW Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue NSW are assessing a number of other Total Fire Ban exemptions.#nswrfs #nswfires #frnsw pic.twitter.com/C3QtJtF5K8
- NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) December 30, 2019
"All states should say no to fireworks. This may traumatise some people as there is enough smoke in the air."
Authorities made the controversial decision to grant Sydney with a total fire ban exemption and the huge display went ahead.
The decision split opinions, with one Aussie taking to social media to blast officials, writing: "This should be a moral decision above everything else. It just doesn't seem right to sit there watching the sky light up over Sydney when much of the state is being burnt to a crisp. It wouldn't kill anyone to give it a rest just this once."
A second agreed, posting: "l understand the fireworks have been paid for, but the decision to go ahead with them on NYE is morally and ethically wrong. This is not a good look for our beautiful city and reminds me of the story of Nero fiddling while Rome burnt."
But not every was against the annual display, with one person writing: Good. Common sense prevails. Money was committed months ago, and it brings in tourists who spend and therefore supports the communities of NSW. There is no fire danger from these fireworks."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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