Fines issued following long weekend fireworks crackdown

Media Release | 11/10/2017

A woman from Allworth in the Hunter Valley and a fireworks licence holder from Parkes have been fined by SafeWork NSW following a crackdown on fireworks safety over the October long weekend.

The Allworth resident was fined $3,000 for illegally selling fireworks on social media in the lead up to the October long weekend with SafeWork NSW also seizing 20kg of fireworks from a site at Beresfield that the woman was using to sell fireworks.

The Parkes licence holder was fined $1,000 for failing to comply with the conditions of their fireworks licence when supplying fireworks to a display at Coonabarabran.

SafeWork also issued explosives directions to three licence holders for failing to comply with the conditions of their licence which, if not complied with, could result in fines of up to $27,500.

Executive Director of SafeWork NSW, Peter Dunphy said the surveillance programs and fines proved that authorities were serious about cracking down on illegal fireworks sales.

“The illegal sale of fireworks on social media sites such as Facebook is a growing problem and SafeWork NSW is working closely with the NSW Police Force to crack down on this activity and keep the community safe,” Mr Dunphy said.

“The seized fireworks will now be cross-referenced by SafeWork’s Dangerous Goods and Explosives team against notifications from licensed fireworks suppliers to determine their origin.

“So the message is simple, if you’re buying or selling fireworks illegally on social media, you will be caught.”

Mr Dunphy added that SafeWork inspectors also conducted random inspections of fireworks displays to ensure licence holders were complying with their licence requirements.

“Fireworks are not a novelty item, they are an explosive that can cause serious injuries and even death,” he said.

“Over the past two years there have been three fatalities from illegal fireworks and numerous serious injuries, including burns and loss of limbs.

“SafeWork inspectors conducted spot checks of single-use licence holders and licensed pyrotechnicians at displays across the State over the long weekend to ensure people’s lives weren’t being put at risk.

“Several explosive licence breaches were detected with one Parkes license holder fined $1,000.”

In NSW, the possession, use, storage and transport of display fireworks is restricted to SafeWork NSW licence holders. Licensed pyrotechnicians are also required to notify authorities before a fireworks display, including Police, Fire and Rescue NSW or the NSW Rural Fire Service and Council. Anyone caught selling or purchasing fireworks without a licence faces fines of up to $27,000 and 12 months in jail and anyone caught displaying fireworks without a licence faces penalties of up to $27,500.

Anyone with information on the illegal use or sale of fireworks should call CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000. Information on approved fireworks displays or licensing requirements is available by calling SafeWork NSW on 13 10 50 or visiting www.safework.nsw.gov.au .

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