Time to ban personal fireworks in the NT
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For as long as I have been a Territorian, and that has been since 1968, Territorian's have had the freedom to purchase personal fireworks and once a year, blow things up. This used to be to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day on November 5 and then changed to celebrate Territory Day on 1 July.
There is no denying that a good fireworks display is entertaining for people of all ages and can be linked to open air markets, concerts and all manner of activities.
However, the annual celebration has now become unreasonable and it is time for the personal purchasing of fireworks to cease. What was once a fun evening with a few crackers and turned into an almost uncontrollable desire to explode the loudest and most dangerous fireworks that one can get their hands on with not a few, but instead tonnes, of fireworks sold in just a few hours.
The result, this year alone, was dozens of people presenting to hospital with fireworks related injuries, including very small children; mountains of waste left in public places which costs the rate payers (through Council) to collect; animals all across the NT affected - possibly even permanently - by the excessive noise; 400 fire call-outs including an entire house that almost burnt down and the additional wanton damage caused by fools - often alcohol fuelled - to public property such as the almost complete destruction of a popular playground in Gunn. This does not even begin to explore the mess and damage caused to personal property with litter falling into swimming pools and onto roofs, or the danger to drivers and pedestrians with a total lack of control over where people can explode their fireworks.
Then let's touch on the fact that while the law clearly states when fireworks may be let off, it is common for loud explosions to continue for months following the official day and at all hours of the day and night. Residents angry at this will undoubtedly contact the police, but why should we be wasting police resources on these activities? Surely our fine police force have more pressing things to be concerned with, such as a soaring crime rate.
The controlled displays in locations such as Mindil Beach are marvellous. They provide a safe environment for Territorians to enjoy the grandeur of a fireworks display and to celebrate Territory Day but in a controlled environment.
Is the aim of the current policy - one that covers all Governments to date - to mimic the Romans of old by distracting the public from the woes of the time by giving them a party? When things got too bad for the Romans they would simply stage an event in the Colosseum in the hope that the people would forget, at least for a time, about the real issues.
The crux of this petition is to say, from the voters of the Territory, "it's been fun, but enough is enough". It is time to stop the sale of personal fireworks in the NT and restrict the Territory Day fireworks to safe controlled environments.
I urge you to support this and take the message to Government.
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