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Melbourne to ring in New Year with massive party

Pyrotechnics expert Rusty Johnson is set for a big show in Melbourne on Saturday night.

Pyrotechnics expert Rusty Johnson is set for a big show in Melbourne on Saturday night. Photo: AAP

Revellers are set to rejoice at the biggest New Year’s Eve celebrations in Melbourne’s history.

The state government and City of Melbourne are pouring $3.94 million into 2022’s end-of-year celebrations, with about $280,000 going towards fireworks displays, and the majority going towards public safety and dedicated celebration zones.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp expected about 450,000 people to head into the city to celebrate New Year’s Eve – 150,000 more than last year, when public events were ticketed.

“This is the New Year’s Eve we have all been waiting for … where we can rejoice in the excitement and positivity of looking forward into 2023,” she said on Friday.

“We’ve really decided to mark the occasion by upping our celebrations in Melbourne.

“We’re so pleased to have worked with the Victorian government to fund our biggest New Year’s Eve celebration ever.”

Fireworks displays were generally held at 22 buildings across Melbourne. This year’s celebrations would feature them at 30 buildings in the city’s CBD, Ms Capp said.

Fireworks in celebration zones will go off at 9.30pm and midnight.

They would be complemented by a laser show, and four celebration zones at Docklands, Flagstaff Gardens, Treasury Gardens, and near the Shrine of Remembrance.

Public transport will be free, and timetables and staff have been bolstered to help Victorians make it home safely.

Victoria Police will have an extra 2500 officers on duty across the state.

“Our aim and our vision is for the community to have a healthy, happy and safe New Year’s Eve,” deputy commissioner Rick Nugent said.

“Additional police will be deployed to locations that are popular around the state, including here in the CBD, the Docklands, along the beaches, around the Mornington Peninsula, Lakes Entrance, Cowes, Geelong, the Surf Coast, and many other regional cities.”

Extra security guards in the city will keep an eye on revellers and seven kilometres of fencing will manage crowds in key CBD areas.

New Year’s Eve was generally the busiest night of the year for Ambulance Victoria, and the service had rostered on additional paramedics, bike crews and motorcycle crews, director of emergency management Justin Dunlop said.

“You can help us on this really busy night by saving triple zero for emergencies.”

Mr Dunlop noted that while the city council had announced the largest fireworks display in Melbourne, the danger and deadly potential of illegal fireworks was “real”.

Fire Rescue Victoria deputy commissioner Michelle Young added that illegal fireworks were terrible, unregulated and unsafe.

Money for Melbourne’s New Year’s Eve celebrations is coming from a $200 million recovery fund for the city.

-AAP

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