Sydney (Jan 1, 2014, Tribune International): A giant all-seeing eye shone over Sydney last night as more than 1.6 million people gathered around the harbour to welcome in 2014, and many millions more tuned in to screens across the globe.
The 72-metre-wide illumination, designed by NYE13 Creative Ambassador Reg Mombassa, formed the centrepiece of the Sydney Harbour Bridge Effect and was twice as big as in previous years. New technology allowed organisers to place an eyelid made from LED tubes around the effect so the eye could blink.
Special fireworks also launched from four sails of Sydney Opera House to mark its 40th anniversary.
“It was wonderful to see that modern technology has managed to turn my little pencil drawings into those enormous mutating graphic effects on the Sydney Harbour Bridge,” Mombassa said.
“The fireworks were dazzling and the addition of Sydney Opera House as a launch site added to the spectacle. As usual, Fireworks Director Fortunato Foti and his crew have done a great job.”
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the event’s world-famous fireworks displays attracted more than 1.6 million people to the harbour foreshore.
“Sydney certainly shone last night,” the Lord Mayor said.
“As one of the first major cities to welcome in 2014, images from last night’s two fireworks displays have already been shared around the world on social and traditional media, showcasing our magnificent harbour and encouraging even more people to visit and celebrate in Sydney.”
Millions of people tuned in to watch the 9PM Family Fireworks and Midnight Fireworks on television and through a live stream on YouTube, with the event generating an economic boost of about $156 million for local businesses.
For the 14th year, master pyrotechnician Fortunato Foti created the unique fireworks display, which included a new type of firework being launched from Sydney Opera House to mark the heritage site’s 40th anniversary. The fireworks were specially-designed to ensure there was no damage to the white tiled exterior.
The Lord Mayor praised the City of Sydney workers who worked hard through the night, instead of celebrating, to ensure Sydney was pristine this morning.
“With tens of thousands of people gathering on the harbour foreshore and at vantage points across the city, the clean-up of New Year’s Eve is a mammoth task,” the Lord Mayor said.
“A great team of about 350 City staff were deployed throughout the night, collecting 58 tonnes of waste.
“The staff worked hard and within hours had transformed the City’s streets and parks – clearing truckloads of rubbish to reveal a pristine setting in time for sunrise on New Year’s Day.”
The $290,000 clean-up operation involved the use of 60 trucks, sweepers and compactors and 625 mobile garbage bins to support the City’s 600 street litter bins, which were filled with plastic bottles, food containers and food scraps.
All waste collected will be transported to the Chullora Resource Recovery Park for processing, with 90 per cent of it recycled, courtesy of SITA Australia.
In an Australian first, coloured holograms have captured the NYE13 fireworks celebrations on a special edition collector’s coin, developed by the Royal Australian Mint, which was released at 12.01am today.
The $1 silver proof coin unusually combines both holographics and colour, and features an image of the Sydney Harbour Bridge Effect, which was revealed at midnight.
The coin is presented in a special capsule and housed in a leatherette presentation case and printed outer box. The recommended retail price is $120. The coin is available for sale from the Royal Australian Mint website and coin shops across the country.
The Lord Mayor thanked everyone who made last night possible, including the City of Sydney’s New Year’s Eve team and Creative Ambassador Reg Mombassa.
“The event took 15 months of planning, and has ensured Sydney retains its mantle as the New Year’s Eve Capital of the World,” the Lord Mayor said.
“I’d like to thank everyone who dedicated their time to helping the event run so smoothly, including our government partners, agencies, sponsors and volunteers.”