Page 2727 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 26 September 2007

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The Assembly voted—

Ayes 4

Noes 7

Mrs Dunne

Mr Barr

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Mulcahy

Mr Berry

Ms Porter

Mr Pratt

Mr Corbell

Mr Stanhope

Ms Seselja

Dr Foskey

Question so resolved in the negative.


MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (5.19): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) recognises existing regulation of consumer fireworks in the ACT;

(2) acknowledges the importance of regular review of such regulation; and

(3) calls on the ACT Government to ensure that any such review incorporates thorough community consultation.

Mr Speaker, this motion is important, as it deals with an issue that goes to the safety of the territory community—that is, the use of fireworks by the public. The ACT originally inherited the legislation that controlled explosives, including fireworks, from New South Wales. The Dangerous Goods Act 1975 of New South Wales and the dangerous goods regulation 1978 of New South Wales, in a modified form, were applied as ACT laws by the Dangerous Goods Act 1984.

The management and control of fireworks have long been the subject of concern, and in 1988 the government of the day commissioned a review of the Dangerous Goods Act 1975. Regulations for shop goods fireworks, as consumer fireworks were then known, commenced on 15 June 1999 and restricted the sale of shop good fireworks to 14 days prior to the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. People wishing to buy fireworks during this period were required to apply for a fireworks purchasers permit.

In 2000 a requirement that consumer fireworks be classified before they were able to be sold to the public was introduced into the explosives control regime. Despite this, that year WorkCover found evidence of illegal use of fireworks, evidence of injury to people, damage to property and harm to animals as a result of the use of fireworks. The level of these incidents was judged to be an unacceptable risk to the community. On 14 August 2001, the then Occupational Health and Safety Commissioner wrote to the then Deputy Chief Minister to report on the 2001 fireworks season. The commissioner, in part, said:

The information shows:

increased injuries to people;

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