Licence to thrill
Thursday, 6th January, 2011
National holidays are nearly always celebrated in the big cities with grand fireworks displays, but if people assume that fireworks are legal, then they are wrong, according to local police.
You can possess and use fireworks only if you have a licence to do so. Fireworks are legal in the territories - the ACT and the Northern Territory - but have long been banned in all of the states.
The big displays, such as the one on Sydney Harbour on New Year’s Eve, are performed by qualified technicians under licence, but individuals have no right to them, according to Sergeant Dave Gallagher.
“With Australia Day coming up some people like to enjoy themselves with fireworks but we had a few problems on New Year’s eve with fireworks,” Sgt Gallagher said yesterday.
“It is an offence to possess fireworks and one person was issued with an $1,100 fine for possession of them.
“Fireworks are dangerous and in the wrong hands be lethal.
“We are also experiencing a total fire ban, so if you do set fireworks off you can be fined for possession and for breaching the fire ban.
“Cinders can go onto roofs and into gutters and this can result in people losing their homes and property.”
Police are also reminding people to not leave valuables in their cars or out in the open in their front yards.
“This is an invitation for opportunistic theft to occur,” said Sgt Gallagher. “Again, remember to take your valuables out of your car or place them out of sight.
“We regard Broken Hill as a small, safe country town, however we are situated at the corner of three States and people are always travelling through, some of them itinerants.
“Some people leave their handbags in the car, or the keys in the ignition while they pop into the corner shop, but those days are no longer with us. You need to be more mindful of your own property.”