The Canberra Times reports that, despite the chardonnay sipping classes uniting against the proletarian pleasure of lighting off fireworks in a concerted media campaign, they only managed to lodge 175 complaints over the weekend.
I’m pretty sure that from my backyard I saw more houses joining in the fun side of it on Sunday night.
And while it’s true that fireworks were used for some cases of vandalism over the weekend let’s not think that means no vandalism occurs the rest of the year. It’s just not as sexy for the TV cameras.
Also those advocating a ban should think carefully about the power of nitrogen chemistry and the possibilities presented by the average supermarket, let alone a hardware store. Regulated crackers with proper fuses begin to seem like a good idea in comparison.
But our relevance seeking politicians do enjoy a good banning. It’s interesting just how quiet the Liberals have gone while they figure out which way the wind is blowing. The Greens are also seeking input from their membership on the issue.
Labor’s John Hargreaves is now actively crusading for a ban but it’s unclear where the rest of his party stands on the issue, let alone how the assembly will vote. I’d love to see a comparison of the cost to the community of drink driving versus the legal fireworks regime. Mr. Hargreaves on the news last night was also conveying the complaints of Commonwealth Ministers to the noise and fuss, something I doubt many of us give a toss about.
Wherever you stand on the issue, now is the time to start writing your letters to the MLAs.
I suspect firework supporters are less likely to be the letter writing sort.
UPDATE: The RSPCA has put out a statement that I thought worth adding to the debate:
- 9 June 2009
CEO of RSPCA ACT Michael Linke today released official figures regarding lost pets over the Queen’s birthday weekend.
In total some 112 pets went missing from homes over the weekend as a direct result of firework activity. RSPCA received 48 dogs into the shelter, 52 other dogs went missing. We have successfully reunited 50% of these animals and will be working on the remaining 50% over the coming days.
I addition to dogs, several other animals went missing, including nine cats, one ferret, one bird and one rabbit.
“We are very pleased that fewer animals went missing this year than last year. Sadly however we have reports that at least four have been killed.
“We can also report that most pets were identified which has helped in getting many of them home very quickly and that responsible pet ownership is alive and well in the ACT.
“Irrespective of the number of lost animals RSPCA will not be reviewing its stance on the sale of public fireworks. We maintain the practice causes too much stress for animals and no pet owner should have to suffer the death of a pet as a result of the so called enjoyment of others.” Michael said.
Note 1: these figures are for RSPCA only and do not include domestic animals services figures.
Note 2: these figures differ from figures previously issued as prior figures were estimates and we have now had a chance to fully review weekend activity
So despite last night’s apocalyptic reporting it appears that it was a generally better behaved fireworks weekend than in the past.
FURTHER UPDATE: And the police are reporting an improvement.