By Mitchell Clarke
A proposed privately run fireworks display in Pakenham didn’t end up going off with a bang, in fact it didn’t go off at all, following confusion between Cardinia Shire Council and the proponent.
Licensed pyro technician Raymond Boyd, who has received training from Fireworks Australia, had bold plans to host a free fireworks show at Toomuc Reserve on Sunday 26 January, from 9.30-9.45pm.
The Pakenham local decided to fund the $10,000 show for the “greater good of the community” after he felt that there wasn’t a sufficient amount of celebrations in the area.
“I have lived in Pakenham for over 10 years and have always said that there hasn’t been a great deal of community celebrations,” he said.
Mr Boyd helped to conduct displays at the Narre Warren Carols, Pakenham Carols and most recently, Pakenham’s New Year’s Eve event. He maintains that the response from the community was “fantastic”.
But his plans came to a crashing halt, after inquiries to Cardinia Shire Council from the Gazette revealed the council hadn’t actually approved the discharge of fireworks at Toomuc Reserve.
“Council approval is required to discharge fireworks in any council owned or managed property,” active communities manager Kristen Jackson said.
“Council has not received required documentation, including evidence of Public Liability Insurance.
“Without the required documentation, council is not able to assess or provide approval for the discharge of fireworks on council land.”
That decision enraged Mr Boyd, who claimed he was initially told by a Cardinia Shire Council customer service employee that they didn’t need to be notified, as long as the event went through WorkSafe.
But on Friday 24 January, Cardinia Shire Council refused the event due to Mr Boyd “failing to provide” all the required documents including a risk assessment, evidence of insurance and evidence that the CFA approved the discharge during fire restrictions.
Mr Boyd said the saga has been detrimental to his start up business ‘King of Fireworks’.
“I’m currently at a standstill where I’m stuck in a situation where the council have said one thing to me and then done another,” he said.
“I’m trying to do a good thing for the community but now people are tarnishing my business and saying I wasn’t prepared and that I didn’t have the right documents.
“I’m trying to get my business off the ground but right now I’m stuck with a garage full of fireworks that I need to get rid of.”