Ballina Shire Council will discuss helium balloons and their environmental concerns. Picture: Dylan Robinson
Ballina Shire Council will discuss helium balloons and their environmental concerns. Picture: Dylan Robinson

Big blow up over helium balloon debate in Ballina

BALLINA Shire Council will be debating the use of helium balloons in the area during this month's meeting.

Mayor David Wright confirmed council is not considering banning the retail of the balloons, but is considering supporting a campaign across NSW to deter their use.

As part of the Mayoral Minutes, Cr Wright will bring up a letter received by all NSW councils from Karen Joynes, from an organisation called No Balloon Release Australia.

The letter asks councils to "request NSW amends the Littering Act to totally ban the release of balloons" from the state.

It also asks to lobby the Federal Government to regulate the sale of helium so it is not used for balloons.

Cr Wright said the council has been asked to support the intent of this motion.

"It's something we have discussed in the past," he said.

"It's one of those things I don't believe in, I don't think it's needed.

"We have talked about it at council when we discuss our coastal and wildlife management, and I think we have grown up enough to not need helium balloons."

Mr Wright said helium balloons seem to pose a bigger threat to marine animals than regular balloons.

"The regular balloons people tend to put them away, but if the idea is to let helium balloons go, they most probably will end up in the sea," he said.

"It's not a good idea.

"They both can and up in the water, the normal balloons I think they are bad as well.'

 

Ballina Shire Council will discuss helium balloons’ impact on the environment. Picture: Dylan Robinson
Ballina Shire Council will discuss helium balloons’ impact on the environment. Picture: Dylan Robinson

 

On their website, Ms Joynes explained why she founded No Balloon Release Australia together with another two Australian women.

Ms Joynes said released balloons are known to create litter when they inevitably fall back to Earth.

"They are also known to endanger wildlife by ingestion and/or entanglement of marine, terrestrial and avian animals, such as shearwaters, turtles, platypuses and even cows, have all been previously documented as being injured or killed by balloon debris," she said.

If council agrees, it will send a letter of support to No Balloon Release Australia, supporting its lobbying activities.