Helium balloons. They’re those spherical plastic toys that you see at children’s birthday parties, and that people play with for amusement.
Now, following recent scientific research and a swift Council vote, they will soon be a fineable offence in the coastal city of Fremantle.
Fremantle’s government has made it illegal to release balloons (by penalty of a $125 fine), due to scientific reports that it has a harmful effect on marine life.
Fremantle Mayor, Brad Pettit explained: “There is a strong expectation in our community now that things like releasing helium balloons, that obviously have clearly well scientifically documented impact on marine life, is something coastal councils like Fremantle need to take leadership on.”
“There will be a clear communication strategy around this and those reserves both in terms of events we’ll hold but also there will be some signage, and we’ll try to do that in a way … that is saying hey this is who we are as a community and this is what we expect when you use our reserves.”
“We’d love to see this ban rolled out more broadly like plastic bags across the whole State.”
Fremantle is the second council in the city of Perth to implement a balloon ban, and this is far from the first time they have been in the media for making a political stand.