A church near Sydney Harbor was forced to cancel its famous New Year’s Eve party following changes in security regulations.
St. Aidan’s Anglican Church in Longueville, Australia organizes a festive party filled with entertainers to welcome the new year. A tradition which started in 1999, the church cancelled the outdoor party last year after it couldn’t afford a $10,000 security bill, reports the Daily Mail.
Reverend Craig Potter, the church’s rector, said new state laws required event organizers to put up additional security measures.
This, following an incident in January 2017 wherein a car mowed down people through the busy Bourke Street Mall, which left six people dead and 30 others injured. Three weeks before the car attack, another car rammed through pedestrians in downtown Melbourne, injuring 20 people.
“This year, because of what has happened in Melbourne with the two vehicles that have gone through crowds, it has changed the rules with street parties,” he said.
The cleric revealed that the church would have to pay $10,000 to hire security guards, and install concrete or water-filled barriers for the NYE party to protect revelers from a potential terror attack.
“We just couldn’t do it,” Rev Craig added. “There’s no way we would have found the traffic management company to put it all together.”
He said, however, that families could still have their picnics outside the church as they wait for the new year.
Spectators were disappointed that the annual church street party was cancelled. A resident said it was a victory for the terrorists while another lamented that it was “sad.”
St. Aidan’s website announced, “due to changes in Security Regulations, St. Aidan’s NYE community festival is cancelled for 2017. We hope to be back in 2018.”