Fireworks permits

Fireworks may only be used in a fireworks display in the ACT (including small-scale fireworks displays conducted as part of a performance or ceremony) if:

  • the fireworks products to be used in the display are authorised for use in the ACT as an explosive article under the Dangerous Substances (Explosives) Regulation 2004 and
  • the person who is to be responsible for conducting the fireworks display has applied for, and been issued with, a fireworks display permit.

Fireworks products which are authorised as explosive articles in class 1.1G or class 1.3G are usually restricted to use by licensed display operators, also known as pyrotechnicians.

Persons who wish to use these types of fireworks in the display but do not hold an ACT display operator licence should contact WorkSafe ACT before making their application, to check whether they will be able to meet the application requirements.

A fireworks display permit only authorises the permit holder to take possession of the fireworks within the ACT on the date of the fireworks display, and does not allow unused fireworks to be stored in the ACT if the fireworks display does not go ahead or is interrupted.

Information about applying for a licence to bring fireworks into the ACT, supply fireworks to a display operator in the ACT, transport fireworks for the purpose of supply in the ACT or store fireworks in the ACT is available on the Explosives Licensing page.

Authorisation of explosives

WorkSafe ACT maintains a list of the fireworks products which have been authorised for use in the ACT as an explosive article under the Dangerous Substances (Explosives) Regulation 2004. To request a copy of this list, please contact the Dangerous Substances Licensing unit of WorkSafe ACT.

The Australian manufacturer or importer of a fireworks product which is not currently authorised for use in the ACT may apply for authorisation of the product by submitting a Request for authorisation of explosives (online).

Fireworks display permits

To obtain a fireworks display permit, you must complete an Application for a fireworks display permit (Online).

You will be required to provide information about the proposed fireworks display arrangements, your written safety management system, your insurance coverage and details of the ACT explosives licence under which the fireworks will be brought into the ACT.

If you do not hold a current and valid ACT display operator licence or interstate pyrotechnician licence, you will also need to provide details of your knowledge and experience in the safe use and handling of the types of fireworks that are to be used in the display.

If these include fireworks products which are authorised as explosive articles in class 1.1G or class 1.3G, you should contact WorkSafe ACT before making your application, to check whether you can provide satisfactory evidence of knowledge and experience in relation to these types of fireworks.

If you do not hold an ACT display operator licence, you may also be asked to participate in an interview for the purpose of assessing your knowledge and understanding of the requirements of the Dangerous Substances Act 2004 and Dangerous Substances (Explosives) Regulation 2004, before a decision is made on your application.

Display Operator Licenses

Professional display operators (pyrotechnicians) who may wish to conduct fireworks displays in the ACT are encouraged to consider applying for an ACT display operator licence.

If you hold a current and valid interstate pyrotechnician licence (however described), you can apply to obtain an ACT display operator licence under mutual recognition.

Otherwise, you will need to submit an Application for a display operator licence (Online).

You may be asked to participate in an interview for the purpose of assessing your knowledge and understanding of the Dangerous Substances Act 2004 and Dangerous Substances (Explosives) Regulation 2004, before a decision is made on your application.

Mutual recognition

If you hold a current and valid interstate pyrotechnician licence (however described), you can apply to obtain an ACT display operator licence under mutual recognition, so that your interstate licence may be recognised as evidence of your knowledge and experience in the safe use and handling of fireworks.

You can apply by completing an Application for mutual recognition (Online).

You may be asked to participate in an interview for the purpose of assessing your knowledge and understanding of the Dangerous Substances Act 2004 and Dangerous Substances (Explosives) Regulation 2004, before a decision is made on your application.

If the application is successful, your ACT display operator licence will be issued under terms that are equivalent to the interstate pyrotechnician licence, as far as the ACT legislation allows. This may include conditions that already apply to you under the interstate licence.

Your obligations

It is your obligation to be aware of, and comply with, the requirements of the Dangerous Substances Act 2004 and Dangerous Substances (Explosives) Regulation 2004, when conducting a fireworks display in the ACT.

WorkSafe ACT may ask you to provide further information about the procedures that you will follow under your safety management system in complying with these requirements.

For example, you may be asked about the available fire prevention and firefighting equipment at the proposed fireworks display site, and how any easily ignitable material at the site will be identified and removed, reduced or treated to reduce the risk of fire.

You may also be asked to provide further information about the steps which you have taken to consult, cooperate and coordinate with other safety duty holders under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 in managing risks associated with the fireworks display.

For example, the only source of ignition which may be brought within 10 metres of fireworks is the firing unit that will be used to ignite the fireworks.

Accordingly, a display operator must consult with other safety duty holders about the measures to be used to prevent any person (including members of the public) bringing potential sources of ignition such as lit cigarettes or lighters within 10 metres of the fireworks at any time.

Post display reports

A Post display report (Online) form must be completed within 7 calendar days of the date of the display, and must include details of any malfunctions or misfires and the action taken in response, any delays or cancellations of the display, and any variations in the display from that which was described in the fireworks display permit.

You may be asked to provide further information about the post-display inspection and clearance of the display site, including the procedures which you followed in disposing of any misfired and unexploded fireworks, to show that you carried out these activities in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Dangerous Substances (Explosives) Regulation 2004 and the Australian Standard AS 2187.2 Explosives-storage and use.

Forms and fees

For current fees go to the Dangerous Substances (Fees) Determination 2020

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