Cardinia Shire, Editorial, The Big Issues|

This is where we live

Illegal Fireworks

A brief history

Fireworks have been in use in Australia for almost 200 years, but by the 1960s the increasing amount of personal and property damage led to calls for tighter controls.

In 1963, due to a growing number of eye injuries and burns, the State Government limited the size and power of fireworks available. It took another eleven years for exploding firecrackers to be banned, and a further ten years after that for all shop-good fireworks to be made illegal in the State of Victoria.

Because of the changes to the laws around fireworks, the displays that were licensed and put on for both public and private audiences became more and more sophisticated, until now, when millions of dollars can be spent on a single display, and are quite spectacular.

And yet, people persist in setting off their own fireworks, uncontrolled and unlicensed.Other than poor driving decisions by those who have more confidence than sense, illegal fireworks seem to be one of the more stupid frivolities people indulge in, in Cardinia Shire. It is easy to imagine young lads (and lasses), with the “She’ll be right, mate” attitude setting off a few crackers and having a laugh, and the reduction in deaths and injuries from fireworks in Victoria since their banning could certainly contribute to this attitude (if they were even aware of the facts – more likely, they just don’t care).

Illegal Firework Injuries - Barry Fire on Twitter

Firework Injuries – Barry Fire on Twitter

But unfortunately, despite warnings from the police, the CFA, WorkSafe and other organisations with the experience of the consequences, it continues to happen., and again, those using them likely don’t know and don’t care about the side-effects and potential side-effects of their 2 minutes of fun.
Sadly, I doubt any who use illegal fireworks will be reading this, and likely if they are, it’ll be the last post from me they read…The use of fireworks is not only illegal, but very, VERY STUPID. It’s not about you having your fun. It’s about safety and respect for the community that YOU live in. From terrified children and pets breaking out in fear, through injuries and deaths to uncontrolled fires – especially at this time of year – all because YOU wanted … what? To feel tough? To see some pretty lights? To prove how you’re more important than those around you?
There are currently a dozen or more fires burning across Victoria. If you think you’ve the right to set of a firework for fun, I challenge you to join the CFA and see how much fun they can really be. Or sign up to be an ambo. I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of that.

I was going to include some images of injuries caused by illegal fireworks, but they were too graphic and disturbing for this site. If you’re really keen, google them.

Illegal Fireworks - battling the heat

Thanks to Firefighting Australia for this image

If you do see or hear illegal fireworks, then please, report them to Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or via the website/app. Provide as much detail as possible, including time, date, location, type of firework and, if oyu have it, a description of those setting them off.
The more people who do this, the more idiots will get caught and fined. The current maximum penalty for use of illegal fireworks is $805.95. The current maximum penalty for lighting a fire on a Total Fire Ban day is about $38,000 OR two years in jail. Penalties for causing a bushfire include up to 15 years imprisonment or fines of over $36,000. The maximum penalty for arson resulting in death is 25 years in jail.

I’ve seen many people call for national compulsory service to be brought in for all school leavers. I agree. But I don’t think it should be a part of the armed forces that they serve in. Everyone should spend a year or two in the C.F.A, and learn what it really means to serve your community, while being in your community.

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