Media Release: Sunday, 15th June, 2008

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has today called for a Pause for a Cause in the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks around the nation, so that the money saved in fireworks during it can be donated annually to a pressing world need.

“In common with all Australians, I enjoy the New Year’s fireworks,” ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said today. “However, I am always conscious as I watch them of the irony of us sending so much money up in smoke, when there is so much need in the world.”

The proposal is simply that, each year, a need is selected for which the dollar savings for one minute’s fireworks be given to appropriate charities to help overcome it. ACL would also hope that those media broadcasting the event would use the break to highlight the need to which the donations would be made.

“It is ironic that the timing of tsunamis and other natural disasters has sometimes coincided with this time of celebration in the West,” said Mr Wallace. “I know there will be no shortage of worthy causes for the proceeds of the pause in fireworks.

“Importantly, this initiative is also an effective way of raising greater public awareness of some major world needs.”

The idea is that of an ACL supporter from Launceston.

“The supporter brought the proposal to me on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend and, as I returned from Launceston, I saw the tragic face of the famine and food shortages in Africa in media reports and thought we have to give his idea a chance,” Mr Wallace said.

ACL believes Australia has a real opportunity here to be an example of charity to the rest of the world, particularly as its celebrations are one of the first, and invariably reported around the world.

“Our being one of the first nations to celebrate the New Year and the high profile of Sydney’s celebrations centred on the Bridge, gives us an opportunity to create a global example in generosity - generosity which on a global scale could have real effect,” Mr Wallace said.

He said that ACL will be approaching local governments and sponsors of the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks with the proposal and hoped it could be initiated for the 2009 celebrations.

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan