In a move that could be considered a cracker, or just plain crackers, former Liberal Party candidate Vijay Dubey has put a spark into the ACT election campaign by proposing the return of fireworks nights.
Mr Dubey was passed by the Liberals last month for not sticking to the party line. He has now been poached as the fifth candidate in Bill Stefaniak’s Belco Party.
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Last week Mr Dubey said, if elected, the Belco Party would push for the return of cracker night in the ACT.
“The public would be able to release fireworks for three nights over the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend each year,” he said.
“The sale would be strictly regulated and only be allowed two-weeks prior and only from industrial areas. The emphasis would be on decorative fireworks and those that were safe.
“The plan would bring some … family-focused fun that could provide a festival atmosphere to outdoor events during the heart of Canberra’s winter.”
Mr Dubey also said extensive public consultation would occur before the first cracker night.
“This would be to ensure that potential safety and nuisance issues could be identified,” he said. “Restrictions could then be put in place to address potential issues.
“Cracker night would commence on a trial basis with crackers only being permitted in private premises and designated public places.”
Convenor of the Belco Party Bill Stefaniak has welcomed Mr Dubey for the Canberra election on 17 October.
‘‘I am delighted to welcome Vijay with his particular skills and experience to the Belco Party,” Mr Stefaniak said.
“Vijay is a small business owner, teacher and public servant who has lived for over a decade in Belconnen and has called Aranda, Macquarie and Scullin home.”
Mr Dubey’s experience includes roles with state and federal agencies including the departments of Health and the Bureau of Statistics. He has a masters degree in education from Griffith University.
“My family and I love Belconnen and live in Belconnen,” Mr Dubey said.
“We love walking around our beautiful city, especially along the shores of Lake Ginninderra.”
Mr Dubey said he worries that Belconnen is in decline and the current Labor government has lost the plot.
“If you drive down the streets of Canberra, you will notice the impact of the high cost of living. Businesses are down and struggling, people are unhappy. Homelessness is on the rise, rates and cost of living has rocketed up,” Mr Dubey said.
“I am worried about our future, our excessive rates and the misguided priorities of a greedy out-of-touch government. I worry about the negative energy that pervades the city. I want to bring Canberra, and especially Belconnen, back to glory.”
Mr Dubey said that his voluntary work with Help Canberra gave him an insight into helping struggling families and the elderly.
“We mowed lawns, cleaned windows and gutters. I have seen what it is like in this city to struggle to survive.
“I have a vision for a better future for Belconnen which is why I am an active member of the Belco Party team.
“We have a focus on a better Belco.”