Okay… I have a little bit different take on this. And I’m still undecided. Let me know what your thoughts are.
Lots of people are posting this on their facebook status: “Fireworks costs millions. Let’s have a firework free Australia day and donate the money to the QLD families to rebuild their lives.”
First of all I think it’s a fantastic sentiment, except that I’d change it from QLD families to all Australian flood affected families. QLD, NSW, Vic, Tas, SA, WA have all been affected by floods (I don’t know about the NT and ACT).
My mum hates fireworks. Every New Year she complains about the money wasted on fireworks, specially in cities like Sydney. This year when she complained, my immediate response was…”yes, they could have donated that money to the flood affected families in QLD”. And that was before the Toowoomba/Brisbane and points south disasters. But the more I think about the whole fireworks thing, the more I see that there’s another side to the coin.
These big fireworks displays draw a huge number of people in to the cities that put them on. They make people feel good. And when people are drawn to one place and feel good, they spend money. I’m not so sure that the money would be spent on the fireworks if the return wasn’t there for the economy. Yes, donate to the flood appeals. Most definitely. Here’s a link to the Red Cross Australia website so you can easily donate to their Disaster Relief and Recovery – Australia appeal. But also keep your local economies thriving. There are a lot of local economies that need a great deal of help, a lot of business that need people to be spending, and a lot of people that need something to feel good about.
The flood affected families need our help and so do the flood affected businesses. Maybe in a few weeks these flood affected towns could do with some fireworks to draw people in, to get people spending, to give people something to feel good about, something that will make them point and say oooh…ahhh and smile…