THE EDITOR: We call on the Attorney General and the Minister of National Security to immediately implement the short-term recommendations of the Joint Select Committee on Social Services and Public Administration – “Inquiry into the adverse health effects of fireworks.”
The JSC met earlier this year with government agencies, NGOs and professional bodies to gather information on the impact of fireworks on human and animal health, and the environment. The report of the findings was laid in the House of Representatives and the Senate in May.
The report recognised the inadequacy of the legal framework that governs the importation, sale and use of fireworks and made specific short-term recommendations for implementation, three-six months following publication.
The JSC found that “although it may be argued that the use of fireworks and other incendiary devices is relatively seasonal, the committee received adequate evidence to conclude that fireworks use has caused significant and in many cases irreparable damage to both humans and animals.
“The committee noted that there exists a legislative framework to regulate the use of fireworks, namely the Summary Offences Act, the Explosives Act and the Police Service Act. However, these provisions must be modified to make regulation and enforcement more practical and probable.”
It recommended among a range of actions and measures that amendments be made to the existing law to “prescribe designated times, dates and locations for the discharging of fireworks.”
With the start of the “fireworks season,” we are again inundated with calls and appeals for help to reunite owners with lost family pets and to assist with those that have been injured or maimed.
We ask the Government to ensure that the time and effort of the many agencies and organisations that responded to its invitation to present data and information on the impact of fireworks on their sectors has not been wasted.
Animal Welfare Network