Fireworks are to be banned on private properties in rural areas of Nillumbik Shire as well as all land in the townships of St Andrews and Panton Hill.
The ban comes as Nillumbik councillors adopted the Prohibition of Fireworks Local Law at last night’s Ordinary Meeting of Council.
The decision follows extensive community consultation and engagement on two options for a fireworks local law.
A Prohibition of Fireworks Local Law ‑ a complete ban of fireworks on private properties in rural areas.
A Fireworks Local Law, which required private property owners in rural areas to apply for a permit to host a fireworks display, subject to strict conditions.
Submissions from the community overwhelming supported the ban of fireworks displays on private rural properties, particularly during the summer bushfire season.
The new Prohibition of Fireworks Local Law applies to all properties outside the Urban Growth Boundary and prohibits the display of fireworks from any private property outside of the UBG at any time. Following consultation, the law also applies to all land within the townships of St Andrews and Panton Hill.
It will not affect popular public fireworks displays in urban areas such as those at the Diamond Creek Town Fair or Eltham Festival.
Nillumbik Mayor Karen Egan said Council adopted the law following considerable community concern about the impact of fireworks displays on the Shire’s sensitive rural environments.
“Our residents are deeply concerned about the safety of their livestock and pets as well as the negative effect on wildlife,” Cr Egan said.
“Community members are also worried about the possibility fireworks could start a bushfire during the summer season.”
More than 1,100 residents signed a petition asking Councillors to stop fireworks permits from being issued during the summer bushfire period.
Previously, Council had no role in issuing permit for fireworks displays on private land. Private landowners needed permission from the Victorian WorkCover Authority, which issues licenses to qualified pyrotechnic contractors, and the CFA, which weighs up the fire risk. All fireworks are automatically cancelled on total fire ban days.
The new law is expected to come into effect in October 2019, before the start of the Victorian Fire Danger Period.