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Fired up about fireworks

People should be able to use fireworks on Guy Fawkes Night, Country Alliance's Robert Danieli says.

ELAINE COONEY July 29, 2014 3:44am

Australian Country Alliance state election candidate Robert Danieli wants to bring back the bang of Guy Fawkes Night.

However, Kidsafe Victoria project manager Jason Chambers said the organisation opposed changes to firework safety legislation, believing it would pose a threat to children and adults.

Guy Fawkes Night was celebrated across Australia on November 5 every year with bonfires and fireworks until the 1980s.

The tradition originated when Guy Fawkes, a member of an English Catholic group, attempted to blow up Protestant King James I during the opening of Parliament on November 5, 1605.

Consumer use of fireworks was banned in Victoria in 1985 and can only be legally used under the control of a licensed pyrotechnician.

Mr Chambers said the policy was well thought out and had enjoyed bipartisan support from both major parties for more than a decade.

‘‘Fireworks pose a serious injury risk for both children and adults, often resulting in severe burns and eye injuries,’’ he said.

Mr Danieli said the loss of Guy Fawkes Night was because of an overprotective government.

‘‘Families once enjoyed fireworks (Guy Fawkes) night until some politicians who felt they knew what was good for us decided it was bad for us,’’ he said.

‘‘No, it wasn’t. Many families had a great night, yet this was taken from us.’’

He said the Victorian Government’s ban on consumer use of fireworks was a kneejerk reaction.

‘‘A lot of people are injured in car accidents and no-one says cars are going to be banned,’’ he said.

Mr Danieli said age and fire restrictions would be necessary, as would the type of fireworks available to the public.

He said such measures could be easily implemented.

Mr Chambers said Kidsafe Victoria recommended families enjoy public fireworks displays under the supervision of a licensed pyrotechnician with experience in handling fireworks.

‘‘These displays provide families with the chance to experience the colour and excitement of fireworks while minimising the risk of injuries,’’ he said.

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