However, Ms Berejiklian said the display would be “short” and a “toned down affair”, with the children’s 9pm fireworks scrapped in favour of one midnight show.
She added it was likely most of the state, herself included, would be watching on television.
“I want to stress: when we say there’ll be fireworks on New Year’s Eve do not think about what’s happened in the past, it will be an extremely different event, consistent with the health orders, very cautious,” she said.
Asked if the public wanted a fireworks display, the Premier said similar questions were asked about holding the event last December as bushfires raged.
“When smoke haze covered the skyline there was a lot of debate as to whether the fireworks should proceed, and I think once it happened people felt relieved that we were still able to have a feeling of normalcy during what was otherwise a very difficult time,” she said.
“I’m hoping we’ll be able to do the same again this year.”
Roughly 1 million people watched the fireworks display at Sydney Harbour and various vantage points last year. A number of local councils cancelled or shortened their displays in light of the smoke.
Speaking earlier, Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres said he was confident some in-person events could accompany the fireworks display.
He said City of Sydney Council had been “incredibly collaborative” in their discussions about the viability of the event, and Transport for NSW and NSW Police were willing to run their regular New Year’s Eve operations.
It would be likely that events could occur in restaurants and venues in the CBD, with restrictions on people in public places, Mr Ayres said.
“We know we will be actively discouraging people from coming to the city who are not planning to be here for ticketed or specialised events, but we will work with health and we will work with Sydney Council to make sure we manage that and provide it as a COVID-safe event,” he said.
Mary Ward is a reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald.
Tom Decent is a journalist with The Sydney Morning Herald