Stawell missed out on an Australia Day fireworks display after the truck delivering them from Melbourne caught fire.
The truck was passing through Williams Landing in Melbourne when the entire load of firecrackers exploded into the sky early on Thursday morning.
A fireworks display was set to follow the official Australia Day ceremony at Cato Park on Thursday evening, but was instead cancelled.
Stawell resident Sholto Elliot said a Northern Grampians Shire Council member announced the cancellation at 8.30pm.
“A member from council came on the microphone and said a truck carrying the fireworks to Stawell from Melbourne had been involved in an accident,” he said.
“There were quite a few people, especially families with little children, still waiting around for the fireworks after the awards were handed out but unfortunately you cannot control unforeseen circumstances.”
Stawell resident Rebecca Leeke said earlier communication from the council would have been appreciated by residents who waited until dusk for an absent fireworks display.
“I didn’t attend the ceremony but I went outside of my house on Napier Street to see the fireworks from there but then I heard they were not going ahead,” she said.
“I jumped on Facebook and the council had made a post about it at 9.30pm when the fireworks were due to start at 9pm.
“I am not blaming the Northern Grampians Shire for the unforeseen circumstances, but the public relations in this incident were very delayed.”
Northern Grampians Shire Council chief executive Michael Bailey said council would be working with the contractor to establish a new date for the fireworks display.
"Like most, my family was there in anticipation of a spectacular display and the lack of fireworks caused great disappointment, particularly for my three-year-old daughter, which like many others we are still dealing with,” he said.
“We advised the community of the cancellation as soon as possible, but let’s not take away from the fantastic events earlier in the evening that saw Bonnie Mellor’s sensational rendition of Advance Australia Fair, new citizens welcomed to this community, award recipients doing exceptional things for our town and a community gathering run by a committed group of young people with a passion for the area.”
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