Fireworks defence

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A FIREWORKS company has defended the staging of a pyrotechnics display outside a Red Hill hotel last month despite nearby residents complaining it posed a bushfire risk.

One startled resident said he felt “totally devastated; gutted – especially with the Dandenong CFA which had issued a permit for the fireworks” at the Lindenderry Red Hill Hotel, in Arthurs Seat Road on Saturday night 18 January. (“Groom’s fireworks spark outrage” The News 29/1/20).

The resident – one of many not alerted to the upcoming event – slammed the “frivolous fireworks display”.

Red Hill CFA confirmed last week that it had not been notified of the fireworks at the event, however, a permit had been issued by Dandenong CFA.

Manager of Howard and Sons Pyrotechnics Rusty Johnson said operators were “bound by very stringent state regulations that make the operation or use of fireworks by professional pyro-technicians a very safe process”.

“I take offence to the comment that fireworks are dangerous,” he said. “Yes they can be, in inexperienced hands, which is why, as an industry, we are working very hard with Worksafe to eliminate the use of illegal fireworks which are often the cause of local anxiety.”

Mr Howard said professional pyro-technicians “take all aspects of what we do very seriously and spend many, many hours mitigating all dangerous aspects, including fire protection”.

“To state [in the article] that the CFA has made a mockery of what locals have done is biased as the process is the same that local farmers and small property owners go through during the fire-restriction period.”

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 4 February 2020

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