Most Queenslanders want their New Year’s Eve celebrations to go off with a bang, but illegal fireworks will only turn your big night into a big fizzer.
Queenslanders are being urged to avoid ruining their New Year celebrations through serious injuries as a result of illegal fireworks displays.
Minister for Natural Resources Dr Anthony Lynham said sticking to the organised and legal public fireworks display is the safest way to ensure your New Year’s Eve doesn’t end up being a night to forget.
“Fireworks are part and parcel of the festive season but the last thing anyone needs are serious injuries caused by illegal fireworks,” Dr Lynham said.
“The safe use of fireworks requires trained and licensed fireworks contractors who are bound by strict safety and security laws.
“The best way to have a fun and safe new year’s is to leave the fireworks to the professionals.”
Anyone caught illegally using or possessing fireworks can be prosecuted, with severe penalties up to a maximum $53,380 fine or six months imprisonment.
With the effects of the drought making parts of the state extremely dry, there is also a heightened risk of illegal fireworks displays starting more unwanted bushfires.
“With more than 67 per cent of the state now drought declared, the risk of bushfires is even more prevalent,” Dr Lynham said.
“And the last thing we need is another bushfire, especially when it could take away valuable resources from other emergency situations.”
Under the current fire ban, the Explosives Inspectorate is working with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, along with the fireworks industry to ensure that – where permitted under current restrictions – authorised fireworks displays can be safely conducted.
Dr Lynham said in the past two years, 196 people in Queensland have been prosecuted for fireworks offences.
“If you know of anyone selling or using fireworks illegally you should contact the Queensland Police,” he said.
“At the end of the day, we all want a fun and safe New Year’s Eve, and spending the night in the emergency ward, or worse, is a sure-fire way to ruin your celebrations.”
Find out more information about fireworks and fire bans at: www.qld.gov.au/emergency/safety/explosives-fireworks/fireworks/
Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham