Push for fireworks ban


Zoe Moffatt

A Macedon Ranges resident who started a petition last year to ban fireworks in regional areas said a draft law currently being considered by council should ban them completely.

Emily Bannister, who owns Springfield Equestrian Park, said she wanted to see fireworks banned in the Ranges, not just restricted.

“To be completely honest I’d like to see fireworks be completely banned in Macedon Ranges,” she said.

“It’s not that I dislike fireworks, I just don’t think they’re appropriate in regional areas.”

Council is considering three options for a new local law to control fireworks.

The first option would ban fireworks completely.

The second options is for owners or occupiers to get a permit for fireworks.

The third option is to allow fireworks on properties, provided they are, low noise, do not cause a nuisance, do not endanger animals, are not conducted more than four times a year, not used in fire danger periods, not used before noon or after 9.30pm and not within 500 meters of boundaries with livestock.

Ms Bannister said while council has included an option to require fireworks to be low noise, they can still cause horses to react.

“Horses can run wildly around,” she said. “Something like a firework can startle them to run through a fence.”

Romsey resident and fellow campaigner Michelle Downes agrees with Ms Bannister and said she knows of horses put down because of injuries caused when they have been spooked by fireworks.

Ms Downes said fireworks are a nuisance and endanger animals.

“Of course they cause a nuisance, they cause a huge nuisance,’ she said.

“To me all of these clauses are incongruous… of course [fireworks] endanger animals, that’s all you need to know.”

Ms Downes said since the petition was created about four months it has attracted almost 5000 signatures calling for the council to ban fireworks on private properties. It will be presented to council as a letter during the consultation period.

Feedback on the draft law is now open.

“We’re very grateful they have put out a draft asking for the community’s opinion,” Ms Downes said.