Mayor backs new year fireworks

TAMWORTH residents’ cries of “Crappy New Year” may be drowned out by the welcome roar of fireworks next New Year’s Eve. After criticism the city had become a new year party wasteland for families, Tamworth mayor Col Murray has raised the spectre of a council-backed celebration in 2014-15.

And the region’s fireworks guru, Catholic priest Fr Anthony “Holy Smoke” Koppman, has supported the push, saying it would cost as little as $5000 for him to put on a spectacular, family-friendly fireworks display.

“Anything council does is driven by the community and to date, we haven’t heard a strong message from the community that they want something on New Year’s Eve,” Cr Murray said.

“But if that’s what they want, and they let council know, we would obviously consider it.”

Despite thousands again flocking to the annual family fireworks events in Armidale and Moree on Tuesday night, Tamworth has long resisted holding a New Year’s Eve community bash. Frustrated parents took to Facebook this week to demand council launch a community event this New Year’s Eve.

Fr Koppman, who spearheaded the push for an event in Armidale in 2005, said he would “wholeheartedly” support a Tamworth display.

“It doesn’t even have to be ratepayers’ money, we just need a sponsor.”

Cr Murray warned if council did support the event, it could come at the cost of another event or program.

“Whenever you create something new like this you have to drop something else out of the budget. That’s the real dilemma,” he said.

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