New Year's Eve party over, now what's in store for 2024
Sydney Harbour's famed fireworks didn't fail to impress the hoards of revelers in attendance. Image by Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS
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Clean up begins as nation stirs after New Year’s party

William Ton January 1, 2024

Crowds crammed vantage points for Sydney Harbour’s world-renowned pyrotechnics as revellers around the nation saw in the new leap year with traditional glee.

Victorians partied hard as more than half a million people packed into the Melbourne CBD to usher in a new year. 

It was an overwhelmingly safe and enjoyable evening for most of the public, Assistant Commissioner Mick Grainger said.

Rubbish in Melbourne on New Year's day.
 Police were generally happy with the behaviour of revellers in Melbourne. Image by Con Chronis/AAP PHOTOS 

“We saw great crowd behaviour at suburban and regional community celebrations, with people taking responsibility for their own behaviour and looking out for their friends,” he said.

“There were only a small number of people who did the wrong thing, but they were dealt with swiftly by police, so the atmosphere was in no way spoiled.”

Police arrested 33 people and responded to 64 fireworks-related incidents, several of which resulted in serious injuries and fires.

In Tootgarook on the Mornington Peninsula, a 57-year-old woman was hospitalised after her house went up in flames believed to have started after fireworks and flares were set off in the street.

Cleaning up Federation Square in Melbourne.
 Federation Square in Melbourne was one of many popular venues where people saw in the New Year. Image by Con Chronis/AAP PHOTOS 

An explosion at a Mill Park house left 11 people hospitalised, one with life-threatening injuries.

The fire is not being treated as suspicious. 

A 48-year-old Altona woman may lose an eye after an illegal firework struck her face at Altona Beach.

“We saw some serious injuries tonight,” Mr Grainger said.

“If you’re prepared to play with illegal fireworks, be prepared for the consequences of that.”

Celebrations in Queensland were dampened by the weather, with smaller crowds than expected turning out in Brisbane.

New Year's Eve clean up in Melbourne
 The race is on to clean up in major cities after New Year’s Eve celebrations around the nation. Image by Con Chronis/AAP PHOTOS 

On the Gold Coast, police said a boat carrying more than 100 people ran aground in the broadwater.

The skipper of the boat was charged with drink driving and was expected to appear in court on Monday.

“We had to get the volunteer marine rescue and the police water boats to evacuate all those people to safety in the marina,” Superintendent Andrew Pilotto said.

It was a mostly incident-free night in Tasmania as thousands of revellers flocked to vantage points around the island to celebrate the new year. 

Police made 25 arrests for public disorder, abusive language, drink driving and some family violence matters.

“Overall behaviour was pleasing, and patrons celebrated safely,” Acting Inspector Adrian Leary said.

In Adelaide, 15 people were arrested for various behavioural offences with 33 removed from two declared public precincts in the CBD and at beachside Glenelg.