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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4428 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

As minister for housing, I feel it is important that this report and the significant findings and recommendations be immediately put into the public arena. I look forward to debating and discussing the issues with all my Assembly colleagues. There is a lot to digest.

I commend the report to all. I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Legal Affairs-Standing Committee

Report No 3-government response

MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (4.10): For the information of members I present the following paper:

Legal Affairs-Standing Committee-Report No 3-The Operation of the Dangerous Goods Act 1975 with particular reference to fireworks (presented 27 June 2002)-Government response, dated 12 December 2002.

Mr Speaker, on 13 December 2001 the Legislative Assembly resolved that the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs inquire into and report on the operation of the Dangerous Goods Act 1975 with particular reference to the sale of fireworks. The committee tabled its report on 27 June 2002, making 16 recommendations. The government has accepted the major recommendations of this report. Consistent with the committee's recommendations, the government will continue to allow members of the public to buy fireworks for use over the June long weekend each year.

However, the government will make major changes to the regulatory arrangements for fireworks to address problems caused by the illegal use of fireworks. At the moment, fireworks are commonly used illegally outside the June long weekend and this is causing nuisance to the public, distress and injury to animals and damage to private and public property. The government will substantially increase penalties for the illegal sale and use of fireworks. The types of fireworks that can be sold to the public will also be overhauled.

Noisy, reporting fireworks-that is, fireworks that make a large bang-will be banned. Instead, the public will be able to buy larger, fountain-style fireworks, which create less noise and disturbance to animals but which are more visually appealing. Fireworks will no longer be sold loose and will only be available to the public in pre-packaged bags that have been tested and authorised.

It will be illegal to possess or sell fireworks that have not been authorised by the government or to sell bags of fireworks that have been opened or tampered with after inspection. Retailers and importers of fireworks will be required to include prescribed safety information on the use of fireworks in each bag that is for sale to the public.

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