Queenslanders looking to see 2020 out with a bang are urged to celebrate safely by enjoying only legal fireworks displays.
With no officicial fireworks planned in the Bundaberg Region, Resources Minister Scott Stewart warned using illegal fireworks can be fatal.
“Fireworks professionals are bound by strict safety laws to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for Queenslanders who want to celebrate,” he said.
Mr Stewart said those who knew anyone selling or using fireworks illegally should contact Police or an explosives inspector.
“Anyone caught illegally using or possessing fireworks can be prosecuted, with severe penalties up to a maximum $53,380 fine or six months imprisonment,” he said.
Mr Stewart also reminded pet owners to consider the impact of fireworks on their pets, which can easily be frightened by the sounds.
“Pets should be secured inside the house so they are comfortable in familiar surroundings and can’t run away in a distressed state,” he said.
To surrender fireworks without prosecution, contact the explosives inspector by calling 1300 739 868 and arrange for collection and disposal.
More information about fireworks in the community, including a full list of upcoming fireworks displays, is available online.
Many areas of Queensland cancelled community fireworks this year because of COVID-19 restrictions, including Brisbane and Gold Coast.
A Bundaberg Regional Council spokesman said public health restrictions had made it difficult to organise public outdoor events, especially if they're not in an enclosed space, because of the need for contact tracing.
“Council provided funding for community organisations to display fireworks in 2019 but there were no requests for assistance in 2020 because of COVID-19,” he said.
“A number of private venues are hosting New Year celebrations where they are able to record the names and contact details of those attending.
“We encourage everyone to observe social distancing, follow public health guidelines and celebrate responsibly.”