Change of firework contractor fails to spark
A CHANGE in firework contractor disappointed many New Year's Eve revellers.
But organiser Luke Hennessy, owner of Brisbane family-run March Amusements which runs the Coffs Jetty Carnival, said the change from local operator C D Pearson Fireworks was a business decision.
"We were offered a better deal this year," Mr Hennessy said.
He said Coffs Harbour City Council contributed a portion of funding but March Amusements foots most of the bill.
Mr Hennessy believed people didn't realise the full extent of costs of putting on a firework show on NYE - at a time contractors charged a premium.
Costs include road closures, insurances and security - above the firework contractors.
He said people were also disappointed by the lack of midnight fireworks. He said the last midnight firework show in Coffs Harbour was in 2000.
Mr Hennessy blamed this on anti-social behaviour and was subject to such behaviour when he was bashed by a group armed with baseball bats on December 23.
Bruised and sore, he returned to work the next day.
"It's been pretty hard but we got a show to put on," he said.
Police have made one arrest and said investigations are continuing.
Mr Hennessy said March Amusements organised the Coffs NYE firework show for 27 years and it was a favourite stopover.
He said the contract for this year's NYE Coffs show would be put to tender.
Previous contractor Christopher Pearson, owner of Nambucca Heads-based CDPearson Fireworks, said he was disappointed March Amusements had hired a Queensland company.
"It's just annoying to see the money go out of town," Mr Pearson said.
"Unlike visiting suppliers we live and employ locally so are always conscious of giving clients the best possible value for their dollar we don't leave town under the cloak of darkness and disappear into the urban sprawl."
Mr Pearson said he had been contracted for the Coffs NYE shows for more than 28 years.
"I have a very small profit margin but I look for repeat business," he said.