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Defying Empire commemorates the 50th anniversary of 1967 Referendum

Just 175 firework complaints over the weekend?

By johnboy - 9 June 2009 61

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

    Weekend Activity

    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.

    Ends

    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.

What’s Your opinion?


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61 Responses to
Just 175 firework complaints over the weekend?
johnboy 12:39 pm 09 Jun 09

Wallly1972 said :

What about the idea of restricting firework sales to registering community organisations or companies?
I can imagine going down to the local oval where the Scouts or junior footy are putting on a display for a small donation.
This would reduce injuries, vandalism, rubbish and the hours which they’re set off.

It seems to me that that far majority of people behaved responsibly but it is really difficult to stop those who don’t.

It’s the DIY aspect that’s part of the appeal.

I wonder if one can register a fireworks appreciation club….

Wallly1972 12:32 pm 09 Jun 09

What about the idea of restricting firework sales to registering community organisations or companies?
I can imagine going down to the local oval where the Scouts or junior footy are putting on a display for a small donation.
This would reduce injuries, vandalism, rubbish and the hours which they’re set off.

It seems to me that that far majority of people behaved responsibly but it is really difficult to stop those who don’t.

ant 12:24 pm 09 Jun 09

I reckon it’s a bit rough to have animals sleeping outside in a Canberra winter, you’d hope the cats and dogs would be in anyway.

deye 12:18 pm 09 Jun 09

cats should be inside at night anyway

poptop 12:11 pm 09 Jun 09

Why can’t pet owners come to grips with bringing their animals in for 2 nights? My dog and cats revel in hanging around inside and appear unaffected by any gunpowder fuelled mayhem.

I can cheerfully do without fireworks, but I have a flock of young relatives who come every year with their parents to look at chooks at the Poultry Show and let off crackers. They’ve done no harm.

neanderthalsis 11:45 am 09 Jun 09

astrojax said :

only 175? outrageous, someone ought to write a letter!

174 of them were from the RSPCA…

astrojax 11:42 am 09 Jun 09

only 175? outrageous, someone ought to write a letter!

pmm 11:29 am 09 Jun 09

I think people are actually paying attention, although you will always get a few idiots – important to note last year there were 510 complaints http://www.ors.act.gov.au/workcover/pdfs/Corporate/media/MR_0806-Fireworks.pdf

James-T-Kirk 11:11 am 09 Jun 09

While the people using fireworks were clearly better behaved this year, the kids in our suburb have taken to removing letterboxes with a baseball bat – Better ban those pronto!

niftydog 11:08 am 09 Jun 09

It did seem better than previous years – maybe the weather?

What bugged me this morning was all the spent fireworks littering the parks and paths.

Deadmandrinking 10:43 am 09 Jun 09

So can we have our fireworks please?

weeziepops 10:43 am 09 Jun 09

I hope they catch the people who damaged a vehicle used by the National Brain Injury Foundation to transport children with disability to appointments and stuff. See http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/09/2592729.htm.

phototext 10:40 am 09 Jun 09

I was quite surprised at the lack of idiots setting them off after 11pm, only heard one set of bangs about 11.30 on the Sunday night which lasted about 30 seconds.

Much better than previous years.

jakez 10:31 am 09 Jun 09

“I suspect firework supporters are less likely to be the letter writing sort.”

Shh, you shouldn’t mention anything about public choice theory. It tends to destabilise peoples belief in the democratic process.

weeziepops 10:26 am 09 Jun 09

I wonder how many of those complaints were investigated.

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