Fireworks displays

Changes to the Explosives Regulations 2012 introduce a new framework for the use and administration of Type 2 fireworks in Tasmania, starting 1 March 2018.

Read about these changes to the fireworks laws.

Overview (from 1 March 2018)

To hold a fireworks display, you must obtain a permit from WorkSafe Tasmania.

Any person over the age of 18 can apply for a Type 2 ‘Commonwealth Day’ (Cracker Night) fireworks permit.

Cracker Night falls on 24 May each year, providing this is a Saturday. Otherwise it is the following Saturday.

YearCracker NightLast date for applications
2018

Saturday 26 May 2018

Friday 4 May 2018

2019

Saturday 25 May 2019

Friday 3 May 2019

All other fireworks displays must be conducted by a suitably endorsed pyrotechnician, for an ‘approved purpose’ type of fireworks display.

Note: Fireworks displays conducted without a permit are illegal and attract severe monetary fines.

Using fireworks safely on Cracker Night (PDF, 552.4 KB)

How to apply for a fireworks permit

Detailed instructions are on the application form, which you should read carefully. Completed applications are lodged at Service Tasmania with payment of a non-refundable fee.

Applications must be submitted at least 21 days prior to the proposed display date.

Type 3 Fireworks Permit application form (GF016) (PDF, 727.4 KB)

Theatrical Fireworks Permit application form (GF135) (PDF, 497.5 KB)

Requirements: Fireworks display locations

Not every location is suited for a fireworks display, and most urban properties will be unable to meet the minimum ‘safe firing distances’ required. You can use thelist.tas.gov.au to obtain accurate distances.

‘Safe firing distances’ for Type 2 ‘Cracker Night’ Fireworks Permit

Application for a permit will be refused if not met

10 metres

Aerial fireworks trajectory:

  • above-ground power lines
  • above-ground communications cables
  • streetlamp poles or flagpoles
  • gantries, cranes or similar high structures
  • tall trees

Firing location(s):

  • spectator areas

50 metres

‘Protected works’ outside the immediate venue for the display:

  • residential building
  • cinema, theatre, concert hall or other place of public entertainment
  • public building, public park or other public facility
  • building or open area in which people are accustomed to assemble
  • factory, workshop, office, warehouse, shop or other building, located outside an explosives location or a large explosives location, where persons are employed

Major infrastructure:

  • roads
  • bridges
  • infrastructure for gas, water, waste disposal, electricity and communications services
  • railways and railway infrastructure
  • wharves, jetties and other permanent berthing facilities
  • aerodromes

Tent, marquee or similar shelter

Motor vehicle

100 metres

Designated spectator area:

  • landing of aerial fireworks or associated debris

200 metres

Firing location(s):

  • any place where explosives, other than the fireworks themselves are stored
  • any place where flammable or combustible materials are stored

500 metres

Unless approval from the ‘owner’ or ‘responsible authority’ has been obtained:

  • school or other educational institution
  • hospital or other medical institution
  • retirement home, aged respite centre or other aged-care facility
  • church or other place of public worship

Some locations may be unsuitable for a fireworks display because a display could cause significant risks to the surrounding environment.

Before making an application, you should be aware of your 'display site' surroundings and communicate with neighbouring property owners to identify any specific risks. You can use thelist.tas.gov.au to obtain accurate distances.

Any decisions made by the Secretary, including the issuing of a fireworks display permit can be appealed to the Magistrate’s Court (Administrative Appeals Division).

‘Sensitive areas’ for Type 2 ‘Cracker Night’ Fireworks Permit

Application for a permit could be refused if not met

0 kilometre

Suburbs with concentration of private horse ownership and previous community complaints:

  • Acton Park
  • Allen’s Rivulet
  • Carlton
  • Devon Hills
  • Dodges Ferry
  • Orielton
  • Roches Beach
  • Sandford

1 kilometre

Significant risk to livestock:

  • commercial boarding kennel
  • commercial horse business

3 kilometre

Significant risk to native animals:

  • sanctuary or conservation area, such as Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, Tasmania Zoo, and Trowunna Wildlife Park

Permit conditions

Permit holders must comply with the conditions listed on their permit. This includes strictly complying with the display time and date, and any ‘special conditions’ that might be included.

Type 2 ‘Cracker Night’ Fireworks Permit – Schedule 7 ‘standard conditions’

Supervision and control

Permit holder must be onsite throughout the display

Notifications and publicity

Permit holder must ensure that the following persons are given at least 7 clear days' notice of the display:

  • the Tasmania Fire Service
  • the Police Service
  • the general manager of the municipal area in which the proposed site is located
  • the owner or occupier of each property adjoining the proposed site
  • the owner or occupier of each property, within a one-kilometre radius of the proposed site, used for commercial livestock operations
  • if the proposed site is within one kilometre of any reserved land, within the meaning of the Nature Conservation Act 2002, the Director of National Parks and Wildlife
  • if the proposed site is within one kilometre of a permanent timber production zone land, within the meaning of the Forest Management Act 2013, Forestry Tasmania
  • if  the proposed site is on the seashore and the display will involve any aerial display of fireworks, the Marine and Safety Authority established under the Marine and Safety Authority Act 1997 (MAST).

Notices may be given individually or by ‘public notice’ in a daily newspaper published and circulating generally in the region in which the display is to be held.

Timing and duration

A fireworks display must not:

  • last longer than 30 minutes (inclusive of breaks)
  • commence before 6pm or continue after 10pm

A display must not commence or, if it has commenced, proceed:

  • in contravention of a total fire ban declaration
  • in high winds (greater than 39 km/h) or a lightning storm or other unsafe weather conditions

Fire fighting equipment

Fire fighting equipment must be available for the duration of the fireworks display to protect against the fire-risk at the display site.

As a minimum requirement, the following fire fighting equipment must be provided:

  • a shovel and/or rake; plus
  • a water supply; or a minimum of 2 x 8 litre buckets of water

Fireworks precautions

Before being taken on site, fireworks must be securely held away from any ignition source or from other dangerous substances with which they could explosively interreact.

Once any fireworks have been taken on site, they must be kept in closed containers, at least 25 metres away from the firing area, until they need to   be positioned and made ready for firing and cannot be left unattended at any time.

All fireworks must be checked for damage or defects before the display and any found to be damaged or defective (or suspected of being so) must be put aside and not used.

Fireworks that do not have the manufacturer's instructions printed on their casing must not be fired.

Misfires must be destroyed, or safely removed from the site in an approved portable magazine, preferably by soaking with water for at least 10 hours and then burying, but under no circumstances may misfires be burned.

Follow-up measures

Immediately after the display, all necessary follow-up measures must be taken:

  • checking the site for ignited or smouldering materials or misfires or overlooked fireworks
  • securing and removing unused fireworks
  • securing and removing mortars and other shot-firing equipment
  • extinguishing pyres, bonfires and braziers
  • generally clearing the site of rubbish, debris and materials

Safe firing distances – aerial fireworks

Fireworks consisting of or including aerial fireworks must be so placed and fired that their trajectory is at least 10 metres distant from any:

  • above-ground power lines
  • above-ground communications cables
  • streetlamp poles or flagpoles
  • gantries, cranes or similar high structures
  • tall trees

Safe firing distances – protected works

Fireworks must not be fired within 200 metres of any place where other explosives or flammable or combustible materials are stored.

Fireworks must not be fired within 50 metres of any:

  • protected works (outside the immediate venue for the display)
  • major infrastructure
  • tent, marquee or similar shelter
  • motor vehicle

Fireworks must not be fired within 500 metres of protected works of the following kind without the approval of the owner of, or an authority responsible for, those protected works:

  • a school or other educational institution
  • a hospital or other medical institution
  • a retirement home, aged respite centre or other aged-care facility
  • a church or other place of public worship

Spectator safety

Permit holder is responsible for crowd control and ensuring that spectators do not gain access to any fireworks or firing areas.

Aerial fireworks or shells must not be fired so as to cross over or burst over any designated spectator or parking area.

Any area set apart for the landing of aerial fireworks or associated debris (or any area in which such fireworks or debris may reasonably be expected to land) must be free of flammable or combustible material and at least 100 metres from any designated spectator area.

Fireworks must not be fired within 10 metres of any designated spectator area.

Minimum fire fighting equipment required for a fireworks display

Important note: Minimum fire fighting requirements should match the fire-risk.

Type 2 - Fireworks Displays: ‘Shop-goods’ fireworks

  • A shovel and/or rake; plus
  • A water supply; or a minimum of 2 x 8 litre buckets of water

Type 3 – Fireworks Displays: ‘Professional/large event’ fireworks

  • At least 1 x 9 litre ‘air water’ fire-extinguisher; plus
  • A water supply; or a minimum of 1 x 20 litre container of water at each firing point

Theatrical Displays: Fireworks designed for ‘close proximity’ and indoor use

  • At least 1 x 9 litre ‘air water’ fire-extinguisher or 1 x 4.5kg ‘Dry Chemical Powder’ fire-extinguisher

Fireworks issued permits

Fireworks issued permits