New Year’s Eve LIVE: Celebrations begin across Australia

The temperature is rising in Melbourne tonight. It is currently 28.9 degrees, but the “tangible” temperature is 30.8 degrees. Hopefully it cools down a bit before the big show at midnight.

In the meantime, meet Rusty Johnson.

Pyrotechnics expert Rusty Johnson directs Melbourne's New Year's Eve fireworks display.

Pyrotechnics expert Rusty Johnson directs Melbourne’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display.Credit:Chris Hopkins

The former high school art teacher is the man behind Melbourne’s fireworks.

The city of Melbourne expects up to 450,000 people to pack the CBD tonight to see the first New Year’s Eve fireworks display since the pandemic.

Johnson is directing the show and has promised it will be the biggest yet. He has installed a 20-ton arsenal around the city – six tons more than in 2019. Nearly 25,000 individual rockets will be launched from 30 CBD rooftops (eight more than ever) and from five ground locations.

“It’s going to fill the city skyline … we want people to see it from out of town,” Johnson said.

“Because we have the extra roofs, it’s bigger and wider. But logistically it will be huge.”

The $3.94 million party includes $280,000 for fireworks and setting up “celebration zones” and security measures. New Year’s Eve LIVE: Celebrations begin across Australia

Callan Tansill

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