Page 2728 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 26 September 2007

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continuing injuries to animals; and

increased damage to property.

The information also shows a high level of concern from the agencies who contributed to the report such as the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Australian Federal Police in the ACT, the RSPCA and ACT WorkCover.

The quote continues:

The information also shows a high level of concern from the community.

These findings come after a concerted effort for two years to work with the fireworks industry to improve community safety.

I have carefully weighed the information against the need to respect people’s right to have a good time. The evidence shows that only a few people are legally using fireworks and that the overall level of community safety is decreasing.

In this context I consider I have little choice other than to recommend the sale of fireworks to the public should be banned.

In 2002 the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs inquired into and reported on the operation of the Dangerous Goods Act 1975, with particular reference to the sale of fireworks in the territory, the general safety of setting off fireworks and any other related matter. An outcome of this report was that the legislation was reviewed, and in March 2004 a completely new act, the Dangerous Substances Act 2004, commenced. This was the first time that the territory had its own fireworks legislation. As a result of this legislation, a strict regime for the sale and use of consumer fireworks was established.

The availability of consumer fireworks to members of the public is limited to the week leading up to and including the Queen’s Birthday weekend in June. It is illegal to possess or use consumer fireworks outside this period. The sale of fireworks to consumers is limited to ACT residents over the age of 18 who can provide evidence of residence and photographic identification.

The discharge of consumer fireworks is permitted only between the hours of 5.00 pm and 10.00 pm on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the Queen’s Birthday weekend. Finally, the sale to and use by members of the public of fireworks that contain more than 60 grams of pyrotechnic substance, and bangers, crackers and strings of crackers is prohibited. Mr Deputy Speaker, this regime has been more successful in controlling the use of consumer fireworks than the earlier legislation.

It is clear that the use of consumer fireworks remains popular. WorkCover has reported that a total of 87 tonnes of fireworks were sold in 2007, compared to 65 tonnes in 2006. The dollar value of sales and the profit made from these sales is not known. It would be considerable. However, there are social costs that follow the enjoyment that some of the community get from fireworks. These include damage to property by the misuse of illegal explosives during the fireworks period, the disturbance of domestic and other animals caused by the noise of explosions, and the

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