Clive Brown

Clive Brown

Former Minister for State Development

    Carmel fireworks incident report has global implications

    21/08/2002 10:35 AM
     
    21/8/02

    A State Government investigation has revealed an international need to reassess the risk potential of storing some types of fireworks in bulk, State Development Minister Clive Brown said today.

    At the release of two reports into the fireworks explosion at a storage facility in Carmel earlier this year, Mr Brown said some fireworks in Western Australia would now be re-classified and stored in a manner similar to that used for high explosives.

    “This is an Australian-first and although there were no injuries caused by the Carmel incident, it was potentially very serious indeed,” he said.

    “The State Government will be urging all national and international jurisdictions involved in the storage, transport and handling of fireworks to learn from our recent experience so that the event is never repeated.”

    Mr Brown said some of the recommendations from a report carried out by the Department of Mineral and Petroleum Resources (DMPR) included the adoption of new hazard classifications for certain high energy firework types, increasing the safety distances to any occupied buildings and implementing the same regulatory controls that already apply to explosives of high hazard classification.

    Member for Roleystone Martin Whitely also presented his independent review of the public policy implications raised by the Carmel fireworks explosions.

    The Whitely Report includes recommendations relating to the location of fireworks storage facilities, a priority rating for the Dangerous Goods Safety Bill and that sufficient resources be made available to the DMPR for its statutory licensing and enforcement role.

    Mr Brown said the exact cause of the initial firework ignition, which set off a chain reaction involving other fireworks being stored on-site, could not be determined and that the DMPR did not plan to prosecute the facility operators.

    “The release of these two reports and their findings, which will have significant implications for improving public safety not just here in WA but around the world, vindicates the Government’s stance on holding these reviews and inquiries,” he said.

    Copies of the reports can be downloaded from http://www.mpr.wa.gov.au/prodserv/pub/pdfs/The Carmel Explosions - Internet Version.pdf

    Minister's office: 9222 9699