Cease Private Firework Licences during Peak Summer in Country Victoria / Nillumbik Shire

Cease Private Firework Licences during Peak Summer in Country Victoria / Nillumbik Shire

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!
Sally Stardust started this petition to Nillumbik Council and

Private fireworks in ST Andrews Victoria, within the Nillumbik Shire - During peak summer in a bushfire prone area.... It has been announced today that this will occur AGAIN... for the third consecutive year. 

The act that allows this to occur is 60 years old!

 Who step up and change this crazy act?

·         CFA Head Quarters

·         Worksafe

·         Minister for Emergency Services

·         Nillumbik Council

 What are they doing about it? … Personally – I have either had no response or them repeatedly bounce me off each other.

 To Whom it May Concern,

I am writing to you in relation to the approval of a licence that has been requested for the past 2 years, on Australia Day. The address of the property is Lakeview Rd, St Andrews Victoria 3761. 

I wish to express my concerns and I strongly urge you NOT to issue a licence moving forward.

Causes for not issuing a licence might include:
In both 2017, and 2018 a reasonably new family to the St Andrews area has found it desirable to have a firework display during what is not only a period of fire restriction for the area, but is generally a period of higher fire risk.  This is reinforced with a current media campaign showing how much potential there is for the state of Victoria to burn.

Although I am personally not a resident of St Andrews, I am a member of wider community who is very aware of the impact and repercussions of Black Saturday. 

My research has demonstrated to me that there are checklists and protocols in place that are embarrassingly outdated - and provided that a tick can be placed into a box - the fireworks get the go ahead.

The act that requires these boxes to be ticked was implemented in 1958, or 60 years ago. 

In the 60 years since the act was implemented, Nillumbik council has been formed. A council who are keepers of an area known as 'the green wedge'.  A council who will fiercely protect the vegetation within its boundaries to ensure that the area’s dense vegetation is maintained.

Only since the occurrence of Black Saturday has Nillumbik allowed residence the ability to remove some vegetation within ten meters of their dwelling in the name of fire prevention.  Other vegetation in the area is continually becoming denser and denser.

It is my understanding that the permits to have a pyrotechnics display have previously been issued in Sunbury - a vastly different environment to that of St Andrews or in fact Nillumbik in general, so I personally question any consideration that may have been given to the actual environment that the permit has been issued for- especially during a high-risk fire period. 

I also have discovered that the permits were issued based on photographs - why would you not have a site visit to conduct a hazard or risk assessment on an area that so easily burns?   Grass fires spread very quickly!

Notification to the general public:

Why is this considered a courtesy and not a requirement?

At the time of the event, it was documented that the fireworks could be heard as far as Doreen and Hurstbridge. This is a rural area and sound travels. Why is it ok not to have to notify neighbours directly?

An announcement on social media and a flyer at the local feed store doesn’t cut it. This is reliant on everyone having the same social media platform, and patronising the same feed store.

There were reports of one resident hearing the fireworks and then sitting up all night in case of fire - they had not been notified.

There were reports of elderly farmers moving stock in the heat of the day just prior to the event – in order to protect them after hearing of the fireworks on the grapevine.

 Last year, a horse that could have been relocated was injured.

This is not fair and extremely disrespectful to the community. A community that is still… and may never completely heal after Black Saturday.  A bit of fun and celebration in the eyes of some, has the potential to be an emotional and debilitating trigger for others.

Wildlife / Livestock / Domestic pets:

 In December 2016, in the Nillumbik shire one horse died after being so badly spooked then injured that it needed to be put to sleep suffering shock and mental trauma.  At the time, I recall that its paddock companion also received treatment for neurological deficits.  In this particular instance they were illegal fireworks, but the bottom line is fireworks had a fatal impact on a nearby horse.  You only need to do a google search on the topic to see it was not a freak occurrence.

As mentioned above – there was a horse in the area who was injured as a result of the 2017 fireworks display in St Andrews. No-one other than the horse’s owner stepped up to take any action to assist the animal, and unfortunately this was after the event which the community were barely notified of. 

Every single time there a display of fireworks – there are lost pets everywhere – no matter what area it might be – they are not safe in a rural area for so many reasons:

·         A stray dog has the potential to harass livestock

·         Any stray animal has the potential to cause a road accident

·         Fleeing animals have the ability to injury fences and their own housing to                  flee  a frightening situation.

·         Mobs of Kangaroos will ‘stampede’ for lack of a better term.

·         Wildlife will drop their young in order to escape faster

·         Fleeing animals will injure themselves and others.

·         Spooked animals have the potential to seriously injure owners who are trying             to calm them in dark paddocks.

This is a rural area – it is populated with both livestock and native wildlife - people should feel confident in their choice to own livestock without the concern of fireworks - this simply is not the place for them.

Even with notification, I think it is unreasonable to expect residence to re-locate their animals to keep them safe – who covers the cost of transport, the temporary agistment and the possible loss of income whilst animals are moved?

There has been absolutely no regard for any of the animals in the vicinity of the fireworks.

Who covers the cost of repair to damaged infrastructure caused by spooked animals?  Who covers veterinary costs as a result?  Who takes responsibility for the torment and fear caused to the animals in a rural environment, and the work that needs to be done to try and repair this? These animals just don’t have the exposure to these types of noises on a regular enough occasion to develop any type of de-sensitisation to it.  This is not a natural disaster…

The area is more heavily populated than it was 60 years ago, and the act fails to provide provision for this, as I am sure is the same for other areas of the state.

It is sad that I feel the need to point out that there are other states and council areas within Australia / Victoria who have implemented change.  After the impact of Black Saturday – should this not have been one of the first considerations to those who facilitate the permit process – would it not have been common sense to foresee the issue and do something about it?

I now request that you all  fulfil your due diligence and take the necessary steps to evoke change that is suitable for the environment of 2019.

 

 

 

  

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!