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Border operation prevents illegal fireworks entering Queensland

12 July 2023

Officers from Resources Safety and Health Queensland (RSHQ) and Queensland Police Service (QPS) undertook a three day blitz on motorists entering Queensland from the Northern Territory to conduct safety checks and seize illegal fireworks after Territory Day.

Motorists were cooperative with drivers volunteering to surrender fireworks that may otherwise have caused issues in Queensland or other states.

Officers explained the dangers associated with unauthorised possession and use of fireworks, to help motorists understand why they are illegal in all Australian states.

The border operation stopped 387 vehicles, and confiscated more than 45 kilograms of explosives, or approximately 350 individual items.

RSHQ Chief Inspector of Explosives and Mineral Mines and Quarries, Mr Hermann Fasching said although the naysayers call us the fun police there’s nothing fun about losing a hand, getting third degree burns, or having your property catch fire because of fireworks misuse.

“Queenslanders rightly expect people, property, animals and the environment aren’t put at unnecessary risk – that’s why Queensland, like every other state in Australia, bans the unauthorised use of fireworks.”

“RSHQ publishes an online list of authorised fireworks displays held around Queensland every week, people can attend these knowing licensed operators have satisfied safety requirements.”  

RSHQ Deputy Chief Inspector of Explosives Snezana Bajic said we are very pleased with the outcome of the operation and would like to thank Queensland Police Service, without whom it would not have been possible.

“All the motorists we spoke to were cooperative, with several of those who did not have fireworks, commenting that had seen our billboard on the Barkly Highway and warnings in news articles to not take fireworks out of the NT.

“We worked with our colleagues at Work Safe NT to ensure warnings about taking fireworks over the border were included in their messages, and we are grateful for their support in that.

“Fireworks are an inherently high risk product and when used by untrained people, or in unauthorised situations, they can be deadly.

“Earlier this year a man in Bundaberg was seriously injured by misuse of fireworks – he not only lost his sight, but also his ability to earn a living. This is why unauthorised use is banned in every Australian state, it’s just too dangerous.

“In the Northern Territory authorities responded to approximately 100 fires, and there were at least two major injuries – including one where a young man has had his arm amputated.

Explainer/fast fact and or further information:

  • RSHQ partnered with QPS to conduct a three-day border operation to prevent illegal fireworks and other contraband being bought into Queensland.
  • Several of the vehicles were returning to NSW and SA, meaning QLD authorities have prevented issues for other states also.
  • 387 vehicles were stopped over a period of three days.
  • 16 motorists surrendered 45.5 kilograms of illegal fireworks.
  • 9 motorists were found to have outstanding police issues.
  • RSHQ encourages anyone in possession of unauthorised fireworks to contact the Explosives Inspectorate to arrange a penalty free surrender.
Ray-Stewart-with-Billboard-thmbn  Surrendered-fireworks-group-and-car-thmbn 
Senior Explosives Inspector Ray Stewart at the fireworks billboard on the Barkly Highway QPS Sergeant David Maisey and RSHQ Explosive Inspectors Ray Stewart and Jamie Greaves pose with some of the confiscated fireworks

Last updated: 12 Jul 2023