Fireworks industry at risk of collapse after price hikes and two years of COVID cancellations



Summer is the peak season for the fireworks industry, and many of us are used to seeing the year end on a high.

But this summer, there will be fewer operators behind the screens, after two crippling years of canceled events and rising costs.

The bushfires, closures, insurance premiums, freight costs, and the price of the fireworks themselves all conspired to create an effect the eyewear industry didn’t want to see – an “effect.” snowball “.

Exploding costs

Steve Perry decided to leave the ship after 20 years in the industry.

As the owner of Peninsula Fireworks in Victoria, he was responsible for the New Years Eve exhibits in Queenscliff, Rye and Dromana, supplemented by private events and school fundraisers.

Most of the fireworks used in Australia are made in China.(Provided: Matt Batty)

This constant flow of business was compromised in early 2020, when he said insurance premiums had suddenly skyrocketed.

Then came COVID-19 and the ensuing cancellation crisis that hit the events industry.

Added to this are the rising cost of the fireworks themselves and the well-documented freight problems caused by the pandemic.

“It got to the point where you could probably – if you had the time – go to your supplier in NSW, spend a night there and come home, [and it would be] cheaper than it would be [be] to get it to you, ”said Perry.

He decided to release in early 2020.

A man in high visibility stands in front of a huge excavator.
Steve Perry now works in the mining industry after 20 years in pyrotechnics.(Provided: Steve Perry)
Wedding fireworks
Matty Batty says that before the pandemic he was working at one or two weddings every week.(Provided: Matt Batty)

“It was quite disappointing.”

Mr Perry says his company has worked to make fireworks affordable for small events, like weddings, birthdays and school parties, but he worries they may be out of the market.

“I think you will find in the future that there will be very, very few fireworks companies left in the country … and probably the only fireworks you might end up seeing will be Sydney Harbor. , Melbourne’s New Years Eve, maybe Australia’s great days, ”he said.

Count on a blazing summer

Some of those who stay in the fireworks industry are hoping everything doesn’t blow up in their face.

Matt Batty is Chief Pyrotechnician and Business Director at Northern Fireworks, based in Ballarat.

He has noticed the shutdown of small operators and says the Black Summer bushfires, COVID closures and the tripling of insurance premiums are all factors.

The summer promises to be busy for Northern Fireworks, but Omicron threatens to disrupt events.

“People are nervous again,” Mr. Batty said.

“We just got back on our feet – if there was another lockdown we would lose a lot of money… it would hit us really hard.”

Two men stand behind a trailer of fireworks mortar tubes.
Mr Batty (right) says a lot depends on how events continue this summer.(Provided: Matt Batty)



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