Shoalhaven City Council has joined Eurobodalla and Bega Valley Shire Councils in banning the release of balloons, after a notice of motion by Councillor John Levett was carried at Council’s reconvened Ordinary Meeting on Tuesday 4 April.
Council will impose a ban on the release of balloons at Council events and in Council managed reserves.
Council will now write to the Members for Kiama and South Coast to encourage them to introduce legislation to ban the use of helium to inflate balloons and to ban the release of balloons across New South Wales.
Additionally, Council will make a submission to the Federal Government Draft Threat Abatement Plan. This Plan looks at the impacts of marine debris on vertebrate marine species and mentions balloons.
Mayor Amanda Findley will also to introduce a Notice of Motion urging Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg to introduce similar bans at a National level, as Council’s Voting Delegate at the Australian Local Government Association 2017 National General Assembly.
Approximately 95% of released balloons burst in the atmosphere and litter small pieces of plastic to earth. The remaining 5% do not reach a high enough altitude to burst and instead can drift hundreds of kilometres before coming down on land or at sea.
Plastics are a massive problem for wildlife and this is one way that Council can help address the problem.