Use of illegal fireworks set to explode

A SUNSHINE Coast fireworks expert believes the illegal fireworks trade is rife in Queensland and is set to get worse.

On any given weekend, the bang of fireworks can be heard exploding in Sunshine Coast backyards.

Last weekend, fireworks could be heard filling the quiet night sky at Caloundra, while a few weeks ago remnants of crackers were found at Jane St, Palmwoods.

Clive Featherby, owner of KC's Fireworks, believes it is time for uniform rules on fireworks across Australia.

Mr Featherby owns 12 shops in Darwin in the Northern Territory, where fireworks are legal.

He said it was not uncommon for customers to buy fireworks by the trailer-load and transport them across the Queensland border.

 

Are illegal fireworks a problem on the Sunshine Coast?

This poll ended on 11 April 2014.

Current Results

Yes. I've seen/heard it for myself

56%

Yes. I've been told by other people

2%

No. Never seen/heard anything myself

20%

No. No one's ever mentioned it to me

21%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

 

It has been illegal since the early 1970s for the general public in Queensland to possess or use fireworks.

Illegal use of fireworks is an offence and carries a maximum penalty of $44,000 or six months' imprisonment.

Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge animal co-ordinator Kym Slowman said organised fireworks were stressful enough for pets, let alone problems from illegal fireworks in the suburbs.

"It's undue stress and when a dog is scared of fireworks and fencing isn't adequate, they will bolt," she said.

A Department of Natural Resources and Mines spokesman said illegal fireworks sold in Queensland were usually cheap low-quality imports, and highly dangerous for unsuspecting, untrained and unauthorised buyers.

In the past 12 months, the department's Queensland Explosives Inspectorate has collected 113 illegal fireworks throughout the state, nearly all of them being handed on by police, with only a few directly from private residences.

Of these collections, 14 were made in the Sunshine Coast area.

 

Fireworks in Queensland

Report the use of illegal fireworks to Policelink on 131 444.

Once a complaint is lodged after the incident phone the Queensland Explosives Inspectorate in the Department of Natural Resources and Mines on 1300 739 868. The department will pursue the matter with residents.


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