By Mitchell Clarke
A planned privately run fireworks display in Pakenham for Australia Day is now up in the air and without the approval of Cardinia Shire Council.
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.
“Most are held in the CBD and are hard for young families to travel into the city for fireworks, so it’s great to have them out in the south eastern suburbs.”
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 that council hadn’t given approval for 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.”
The decision has angered Mr Boyd, who is now scrambling to find a private property for the display.
“It’s all very stressful, there are a lot of people who were looking forward to this event,” he said.
“In the meantime, I’m trying to get my business off the ground and this is the last event before Anzac Day.
“Right now I’m stuck with a garage full of fireworks that I need to get rid of.”