Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Community

Charity and fundraising auctions for the Canberra community

CANBERRA COMMUNITY FIGHTS FIREWORKS BAN

By Clare Hogan - 3 September 2009 60

The Canberra community is uniting to fight Minister for Justice, John Hargraves’ ban on private fireworks displays on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

A group that started on Facebook just a week ago now has over 5,200 members and is growing rapidly.

Spokesperson for the group, Clare Hogan is calling on the ACT Government to work with the community to develop strategies to adequately regulate the use of fireworks — ensuring they look at the issue in a holistic manner rather than listening to a number of lobby groups and the few complaints they get.

“The group ‘Lift ACT ban on fireworks’ wants the ACT Government to represent the entire community, the majority of whom want to see the continuation of Canberra’s favourite family tradition – fireworks night,” Clare Hogan said.

“The vast majority of the Canberra community enjoy fireworks and obey the law. The Government is only listening to a small minority whose opposition to fireworks is because a handful of people don’t follow the rules. This is going to ruin it for everyone.

“According to the survey work the Government commissioned in August 2008, 56% of the population agree that the ‘Canberra public should be able to buy and use fireworks’.

“This same research also reports that 18% of respondents or their families used fireworks on the 2008 Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

“This means there are over 60,000 Canberra residents enjoying fireworks in contrast to approximately 200 complaints John Hargraves has received.

“It is a shame that there are people in our community who engage in what can only be described as highly destructive behaviour or who simply do not follow the rules.

“However this does not justify a ban which penalises everyone. Otherwise the same logic could be applied to alcohol abuse or speeding on our roads. A few people breaking the rules does not justify an outright ban,” Ms Hogan said.

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
60 Responses to
CANBERRA COMMUNITY FIGHTS FIREWORKS BAN
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
IrishPete 11:54 am 12 Sep 09

I’ve just found the research report frm August 2008. Guess what? 98% of people who experienced “issues” did not report them to anyone. So if there were X officially recorded complaints, that represents 2% of all “issues”, and the real number of issues would be 50 times X.

The question about issues was also worded “Did you observe or experience any issues with the use of fireworks over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend this year?”. So if people answered honestly, they would not have told the interviewers about any “issues” that happened ebfore or after the weekend, and throughout the rest of the year.

The survey report http://www.cmd.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/3104/WSRS_Report_FINAL_aug_08.pdf is frustratingly vague on its sample size for the AUgust 2008 survey. It either was as small as 100-ish, or else some of the questions were only asked of certain subgroups of people. Can they really have been so stupid as only to ask people who used fireworks or attended fireworks displays, if they observed any issues, and not to ask the naysayers?

Pete

IrishPete 11:44 am 12 Sep 09

A few comments:

residents of nearby NSW should have a say, since we have to put up with the illegal use of fireworks bought in Canberra;
if fireworks sale and use could be limited to just a few days a year, I probably wouldn’t mind, but somehow they are sold or stored so that they can be used all eyar round, in the weeks leading up to the permitted days and in the weeks after. I’ve even seen them illegally used in nearby NSW near Christmas, with the horrific fire risk that poses.
reported numbers of complaints are no guide to the number of illegal uses – who bothers to complain when police don’t do anything and presumable the Office of Regulatory Services isn’t open? to gauge the real extent of misuse and annoyance and disruption caused, the survey should have asked respondents about their experiences.

Just some thoughts from an experienced social researcher and criminologist.

Pete

housebound 3:36 pm 06 Sep 09

About that cat thing – I thought Hargreaves kept citing this as his motivation for banning fireworks. If I get time, I’ll try to find the quote.

Ivan76 12:29 pm 06 Sep 09

Holden Caulfield said :

Ivan76 – Yeah your highlighting of that 56% is good. So what we know is that 56% of those surveyed support the right to buy domestic fireworks and, the same survey reveals only 18% of Canberrans actually exercised that right.

I think there’s a hidden message in there. See if you can find it. 😉

Why be cryptic? From personal experience I did purchase fireworks this year however the 3 years previous I didnt as I could not afford to (saving to buy a house etc…) but that didn’t stop me from enjoying them. One of those years was spent at Mt Ainslie watching the fireworks from a great vantage point & it only cost the petrol to get there & back.

And yes, my highlighting the 56% was good. I think there’s a direct & obvious message in there. See if you can find it;-)

Clown Killer 8:00 pm 05 Sep 09

All because of a horrible act inflicted on his cat 10 years ago

If I was a complete idiot I would buy it, but because I still have a couple of functioning brain cells and a synapse to link them, I know that it’s because a whole hoard of Canberrans were simply incapable of behaving even remotely sensibly with fireworks so common sense prevailed.

Woody Mann-Caruso 6:37 pm 05 Sep 09

Some one was blasting off fireworks last night in the Macgregor area. And that my friends is why they are banned.

So the ban is working well, then?

Maybe next year we can have an old style Guy Fawkes night and burn effigies.

SolarPowered 6:28 pm 05 Sep 09

I wonder – are the people who are anti-fireworks mostly blow-ins (like myself – 3 years in Canberra so far). I am originally from Sydney where fireworks were banned ages ago. When I first arrived in Canberra I thought “Great, what a nuisance to have to put up with this racket”. But maybe if I was a true local I would be more accepting of fireworks as I would have grown up with them.

trickyxr 5:30 pm 05 Sep 09

Next year will not result in there been no fireworks just that the law abiding citizens want have any. The illegal ones will still be going off, mail boxs will still be blown up and no one will be caught.Pet owners will still be upset.In fact people who would normally have bought legal ones may now buy the big illegal ones. I wonder what they will do then

Gungahlin Al 9:01 am 05 Sep 09

HB: Yeah so did we. Hargreaves the community killer. All because of a horrible act inflicted on his cat 10 years ago. I was run down by a car 10 years ago, but I haven’t dedicated the decade to banning cars.
Disappointed with the MLAs of all colours keeping to the shadows on it too.

vg 8:50 am 05 Sep 09

If it took a few crackers to meet your neighbours there is something wrong. Couldn’t simply knock on someone’s door and say hello?

housebound 12:06 am 05 Sep 09

We met our entire street thanks to fireworks. It’s really sad to lose a night or two of fun.

Holden Caulfield 6:02 pm 04 Sep 09

Trunking symbols said :

black_rattism said :

Oh, a Facebook group! I hear those always make a difference.

Good luck with that.

Well, a Facebook group was responsible for getting Hey Hey It’s Saturday back on TV . . .

Another reason why it is good to keep ignoring Facebook.

Trunking symbols 4:13 pm 04 Sep 09

black_rattism said :

Oh, a Facebook group! I hear those always make a difference.

Good luck with that.

Well, a Facebook group was responsible for getting Hey Hey It’s Saturday back on TV . . .

StrangeAttractor 4:05 pm 04 Sep 09

Jim Jones said :

StrangeAttractor said :

The “Canberra Community” that I participate in seems pretty unhappy with the ban. No more fireworks in the family back yard to entertain and educate our children.

How do fireworks ‘educate’ your children, precisely?

Are you serious?

Off the top of my head, here are some topics that a fireworks display could teach: Chemistry, ballistics, safety with dangerous items, principles of explosives, curtailing of freedoms by government, noisy minorities and how they affect the majority especially with an aggrieved member of the governing power, not to mention teaching them to be considerate of others and their pets when enjoying themselves.

I know it’s not the greatest argument for the sale of fireworks, but it’s the reason I care about it. Pretty soon we’ll have to be outlaws to teach our children about safety.

black_rattism 3:16 pm 04 Sep 09

Oh, a Facebook group! I hear those always make a difference.

Good luck with that.

Jim Jones 2:31 pm 04 Sep 09

StrangeAttractor said :

The “Canberra Community” that I participate in seems pretty unhappy with the ban. No more fireworks in the family back yard to entertain and educate our children.

How do fireworks ‘educate’ your children, precisely?

jakez 12:37 pm 04 Sep 09

Holden Caulfield said :

Ivan76 – Yeah your highlighting of that 56% is good. So what we know is that 56% of those surveyed support the right to buy domestic fireworks and, the same survey reveals only 18% of Canberrans actually exercised that right.

I think there’s a hidden message in there. See if you can find it. 😉

Yeah the hidden message is that some people actually care about the rights and freedoms of others, and not just their own personal favoured activities. That there are still decent people out there. That not everyone aspires to be a demagogue and a despot.

dyspnoeia 12:32 pm 04 Sep 09

Seems that 5000 Facebook friends isn’t a hard target to reach. From news.com.au:

Facebook warns members off using uSocial

FACEBOOK has warned that members who buy “friends” from an Australian online marketing company could face banishment from the social network.

The Brisbane-based firm, uSocial.net, offered this week to sell a Facebook user 1000 friends for $US177 ($211) and 5000 friends – the limit imposed by Facebook on a standard profile account – for $US654 ($778).

Facebook “fan” pages have no limits and USocial.net said it could supply 10,000 fans for $US1167 ($1390).

Full story:

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,26025375-23109,00.html

p1 12:27 pm 04 Sep 09

PS: Alcohol abuse isn’t banned, but the behaviour it can cause is a potential misdemeanour, and speeding on public roads already is a crime.

And using fireworks outside of specific hours and attached to cats/letterboxs/etc was already a crime.

While you might disagree with this being a valid comparison, you do get the analogy right?

Thoroughly Smashed 11:24 am 04 Sep 09

Facebook: Taking armchair activism to new levels of indolence since 2004.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site