Following a decision by the Court of Appeal which has closed down a fireworks factory because it is not far enough away from the road, Minister Owen Bonnici has announced that amendments to the law will be announced in the coming days, with the aim of eliminating any possibility of misinterpretation. Meanwhile, the 36 fireworks factories can benefit from a fund has been launched, in order to improve their infrastructure and the safety of their operation.
Minister Bonnici told TVM that the sentence by the Court of Appeal, annulling the permit for a fireworks factory in the limits of Zebbiegh because it was not built at a distance of 183 metres from surrounding roads, has been discussed at Cabinet level. Minister Bonnici added that in the coming days Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia will propose amendments to the law on fireworks factories.
Justice, Culture and Local Government Minister Owen Bonnici stated that “the law as it stands gives rise to interpretation, and can be interpreted in a different manner; and therefore the gist of the sentence is based on a particular interpretation of the law. Through legislative intervention we will be intervening to avoid interpretation which may give results in any way similar to those handed down in the sentence.”
Meanwhile, with the aim of improving safety and infrastructure in fireworks factories, Minister Bonnici has launched a 170,000 euro fund, from which every licenced fireworks factory can benefit up to a maximum of 5,000 euro. Minister Bonnici pointed out that this is the first time financial assistance is being given to the pyrotechnics industry.
This fund is part of the programme administered by the Malta Arts Council. The Council’s Executive Chairman, Albert Marshall, stated that the Maltese were making a name for themselves in the international pyrotechnic arts scene, and the time was ripe for assistance to Maltese pyrotechnicians to continue to improve their workmanship.