No Balloon Release Australia hails Tweed’s balloon resolution – The Echo

Balloons are sometimes fun for kids, but they are also a dangerous hazard to the environment and wildlife, especially sea life.

No balloon release Australia welcomes the Tweed Shire Council’s decision to ban the release of balloons on the land it manages.

The Notice of Motion was presented by Councilors Rhiannon Brinsmead and James Owen.

Councilor Rhiannon Brinsmead moved a motion that: Council revise its existing policies relating to council-sanctioned events on public lands and at council-owned facilities to prohibit the release of helium balloons (effective immediately); and from 1 January 2023, prohibits the use or supply of any type of ball, when all or part of the event is held outdoors.

Cr Brinsmead also wanted the changes to be accompanied by an extensive public education campaign using both print and social media to educate residents about the damage caused by plastic balloons, including marine life .

The aim of No Balloon Release Australia is to promote a petition to the Australian Parliament, calling for a ban on the release of a number of balloons and a ban on the use of helium to inflate party balloons , promotional and ceremonial.

Local government is stepping up

No Balloon Release Australia spokesperson Karen Joynes said that in the absence of any action from the NSW Government, it is pleasing to see local government stepping in to protect our environment from balloon impacts.

With the long-awaited release of the NSW EPA’s Marine Debris Threat and Risk Assessment (MDTAR) report, No Balloon Release Australia is once again calling on NSW to completely ban the release of balloons, either in the plastics policy, either in the waste law, or preferably both.

Threat and Risk Assessment Report

Joynes, said the Threat and Risk Assessment report lists balloons as one of the top 12 marine debris and a priority statewide threat and the report also demonstrates that the government of the state has no meaningful programs or policies to manage the threat,

“NSW currently allows the release of up to 19 balloons, but even where an illegal release of 20 or more balloons is reported, no action is taken to enforce the law.

“In the past few weeks alone we have become aware of two illegal releases, one of 22 balloons and the other of over 100 balloons. Both were executed at funerals, so due to the circumstances the council officers did not enforce the law.

Ms. Joynes said another part of Councilor Brinsmead’s motion regarding the use of helium is particularly welcome. “At two major events, one at AgQuip and the other at the University of Sydney Open Day, hundreds of helium balloons were distributed to the public, with little thought of the consequences.

Dozens of balloons floating in the atmosphere

“A source reported ‘dozens’ of balloons floating through the atmosphere in just 20 minutes during the open day. A helium tank was used to fill the balloons on site. We estimate the tank could fill over 700 balloons, so who knows how many were released in total? Each of these balloons will return to Earth somewhere as trash and threaten wildlife and farm animals.

No Balloon Release Australia is pushing for a nationwide, uniform ban on balloon releases, and the sale and use of helium to inflate balloons to stop releases at source. “These events make it clear that the only way to stop balloon releases, prevent litter and threats to wildlife, is to remove easy public access to helium. It would also relieve council compliance officers from trying to enforce an unenforceable law.

Turtles, shearwaters and albatrosses die

The MDTARA has found that entanglement and ingestion pose the highest level of risk and have the greatest impact on environmental assets. Marine animals such as turtles, shearwaters and albatrosses die or are injured when they mistake balloons for food or become entangled in ribbon.

“It’s not just marine environments and wildlife that are affected by balloons. We had a report last week that an arbor bird was found dead with its legs entangled in a balloon and ribbon,” Ms Joynes said. “That would be a bad way to die.

“It is environmentally irresponsible for NSW to continue to allow up to 19 balloons to be released, so Tweed Shire stepping up and joining other councils with similar laws is much appreciated.”