WorkCover NSW has issued a warning against the illegal sale and use of fireworks this Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

People across the State are reminded to celebrate the long weekend safely and not risk injury to themselves, their family and friends by using backyard fireworks.

Executive Director of WorkCover’s Work Health and Safety Division Peter Dunphy said backyard firework displays are illegal in NSW and those who buy, sell or use fireworks without a WorkCover licence face heavy fines or imprisonment.

“Fireworks should always be set off by a trained and licensed individual who knows how to manage relevant risks to ensure they are used safely,” Mr Dunphy said.

In NSW, the possession, use, storage and transport of display fireworks is restricted to individuals holding an appropriate WorkCover NSW licence. In the past 12 months there has been one death and several severe injuries related to the use of illegal fireworks. Two convictions were recorded with heavy fines and a jail term for the illegal sale of fireworks, and numerous ‘on the spot’ infringement notices have been issued.

In the past two years almost three tonnes of illegal fireworks have been seized in NSW and during this time WorkCover has also undertaken a program of inspections at more than 35 fireworks displays and import consignments.

Mr Dunphy said WorkCover NSW must be notified of all fireworks displays prior to an event.

“Licensed Pyrotechnicians are also required to notify other relevant authorities, including the NSW Police Force, NSW Fire and Rescue or NSW Rural Fire Service and the local Council before a fireworks display can take place,” he said.

Using fireworks without a licence risks an on-the-spot fine of up to $2000 with penalties ranging up to $27,500 for displaying fireworks without a licence. Selling or purchasing fireworks without a licence can also result in fines of $27,000 and 12 months jail.

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 WorkCover on 13 10 50 or visit our fireworks page. Back to top