Crackdown on illegal fireworks this Orthodox Easter weekend

Released 24/04/2019

Canberrans are reminded that the private purchase and use of fireworks is illegal in the ACT and those caught purchasing or setting off fireworks over the Easter period could face prosecution.

WorkSafe ACT inspectors and ACT Policing will be monitoring areas of previous illegal fireworks activity in Kingston and Bartonduring this weekend’s Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations.

ACT Work Safety Commissioner Greg Jones said the illegal discharge of fireworks not only posed a risk to those undertaking the activity, but also to the wider community and it would not be tolerated.

“As well as annoyance and disruption to the community, the illegal release of fireworks by those not trained to do so can cause significant injury to those setting them off as well as damage to property,” he said.

“WorkSafe as well as ACT Policing have been in contact with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia on this issue and the fireworks are not organised or endorsed by the Archdiocese in any way.

“We are working collectively to stamp out this practice and our message is clear: setting off of illegal fireworks is not worth the risk of injury or getting caught.”

Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations this year falls on 27-28 April. In the lead up to this, WorkSafe ACT has proactively provided advice to residents in Kingston/Barton who are often most affected by unauthorised fireworks. While authorities were working hard to stop this activity, Mr Jones said local residents should take some things into consideration.

“Pets are often stressed by the noise from illegally lit fireworks and I would urge owners to make arrangements to keep their animals safe and secure,” he said.

“In addition, if a member of the community finds unexploded fireworks in the area they should not attempt to pick it up or dispose of it themselves and report it to Access Canberra on 13 22 81.”

WorkSafe ACT, who license fireworks in the ACT under the Dangerous Substances Act 2004, will also check areas like Telopea Park for any unexploded fireworks.

If members of the community have concerns about illegal fireworks they can contact ACT Policing on 131 444 or
Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

- Statement ends -

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