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Australia sees in New Year with a bang

AAP logoAAP 31/12/2016 Andi Yu

As New York couples kiss in Times Square, Australians are contemplating the 1st of January a little bleary-eyed from celebrations many hours earlier.

After a year that many were happy to leave behind, pyrotechnicians in Sydney helped an estimated 1.5 million people usher in 2017 with a $7 million fireworks extravaganza.

The 9pm and midnight displays comprised an estimated seven tonnes of fireworks, including 12,000 shells, 25,000 shooting comets and 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects.

Spectators gasped and cheered throughout the shows and embraced each other with exclamations of "whoo!" with each new burst of light.

Tributes to music legends Prince and David Bowie were a highlight of the night's entertainment, with purple rain showering the harbour and illuminating the bridge and a constellation of space-inspired pyrotechnics.

NSW Police were happy with public behaviour considering crowds in the city's hotspots reached capacity by 9pm.

By 1.30am, only 15 arrests had been made and were mostly in relation to excessive alcohol consumption and minor assaults of police officers.

NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Nick Fuller said it was an "outstanding result".

Undeterred by a recent foiled terror plot, almost half a million people packed Melbourne's CBD to watch a $500,000 fireworks display.

A large police presence was felt, especially near St Paul's Cathedral and Flinders Street, which were named as targets in a suspected Christmas terror plot.

Around 90,00 people packed into Brisbane's South Bank area to watch fireworks and the display was mirrored at Eagle Street as well as at Hamilton further up the Brisbane River.

About 50,000 people turned out to Cavill Avenue at Surfer's Paradise on the Gold Coast to welcome 2017.

In Adelaide, thousands of Big Bash League fans spilled over for the night's festivities at Elder Park.

Aussie Music Icons Diesel and Kate Ceberano sparked up the crowd at Darwin's waterfront, and Canberrans enjoyed a family friendly concert at Civic Square and 9pm fireworks with a dance party for the grown-ups after midnight.

West Australians were the last to ring in the new year after some 20,000 kicked off festivities at the annual Perth Cup at Ascot Racecourse.

New Year's Eve was not without tragedy as two men died from firework-related injuries in NSW and Victoria.

"Fireworks are explosives, they're dangerous and as we saw last night, they kill," Victorian Assistant Commissioner Andrew Crisp said.

A 26-year-old Sydney man was charged with stabbing a woman's pet dog to death after it got spooked by fireworks.

Another 26-year-old Sydney man fractured his skull falling from a truck and another was left with critical injuries after a fight in the western Sydney suburb of Parramatta.

Police made 183 arrests across Victoria during New Year's Eve, mostly for drunken behaviour.

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