Australia set to bring in New Year’s Eve with a bang

sydney nyeFireworks displays are being tweaked and partygoers are taking up position as Australia prepares to bring in 2018 with a bang.

Melbourne is putting on its biggest show of the year tonight in the CBD, with 14 tonnes of fireworks set to be launched from the top of 22 city buildings for New Year’s Eve festivities.

Between 300,000 and 500,000 people are expected to converge on the city for the night.

In Sydney, crowds have been building since early yesterday with revellers securing spots around Sydney Harbour, despite soaring temperatures.

Tourism and Transport Forum chief executive Margy Osmond said around 1.6 million people are expected to attend the fireworks around the edge of Sydney Harbour tonight.

In Brisbane the light show may well consist of lightning from storm cells forecast to hit the south-east part of Queensland later today. It will be hot and humid.

The Brisbane City Council says it will take more than rain to stop tonight’s fireworks in the city — but if there are heavy winds then fireworks operators will need to decide whether or not they can proceed.

About $65,000 worth of pyrotechnics will be fired from a barge in the first of two shows in Hobart, but the main event will blast off some 12-inch shells — the largest available in Australia.

BOM predicts the temperature will drop to about 16 degrees Celsius around midnight.

A jampacked Elder Park will again be the centrepiece of New Year’s Eve celebrations in Adelaide.

The party atmosphere will be enhanced by a Big Bash double-header at Adelaide Oval, where the Adelaide Strikers will take on the Brisbane Heat in the WBBL before the men’s clash later in the evening.

Security to be beefed up with more police, barriers

Police in all major centres will be out in force following recent incidents in Melbourne after the Flinders Street car attack and the November arrest of a man

Extra concrete bollards will be in place and both areas will be closed to traffic.

Across Victoria 2,000 extra police officers will be deployed, including 1,000 plain-clothes and uniformed officers in Melbourne.

NSW police say there were no specific threat to Sydney’s celebrations, but they plan to use buses and garbage trucks as safety barriers and have rostered on more than 2,000 police across the state.

In Queensland hundreds of additional uniformed and undercover officers will monitor crowds, focusing on celebrations in Brisbane, Cairns and the Gold Coast.

Road closures, barriers, bag checks and CCTV footage are among the security measures in place.

Tasmanian police will be out in force to deter alcohol-fuelled violence and offences.