Australia Day fireworks: The illegal act that could cost you $52,000


Jail time and fines of up to $27,000 can apply in some locations for the illegal use of fireworks, authorities are warning in the lead-up to Australia Day.

Anyone caught setting off fireworks without a licence will face serious penalties, after reports of several illegal displays on New Year’s Eve, SafeWork NSW head Natasha Mann said.

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“Fireworks can cause serious injury or death if not handled correctly, which is why we will take a zero-tolerance approach when it comes to people putting their life and the lives of others at risk,” Mann said.

In NSW, anyone selling, buying, storing, transporting or setting off illegal fireworks can face fines up to $27,500 or 12 months in prison.

NSW authorities will also carry out compliance checks of registered displays across the state in the lead-up to the public holiday.

Unauthorised fireworks have been illegal in Queensland since 1972 and anyone caught using or handling them can face fines of up to $52,220 and six months in jail.

A similar rule applies in Victoria, where only licensed pyrotechnicians are allowed to use or carry fireworks and anyone else can face criminal charges attracting penalties including jail for up to 15 years and thousands of dollars in fines.

The use of fireworks by the general public is also banned in Western Australia and can result in thousands of dollars in fines.

In the Northern Territory, fireworks are only allowed to be sold and set off during an approved period on Territory Day commonly known as “Cracker Night”.

It is otherwise illegal without a permit and carries a fine of $1,570 for each offence.

People caught with illegal fireworks in South Australia will also face a maximum fine of $5000.

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