FLY AWAY: A motion to ban balloons on Council land to prevent them from harming wildlife has been deferred to Tuesday's Council meeting.
FLY AWAY: A motion to ban balloons on Council land to prevent them from harming wildlife has been deferred to Tuesday's Council meeting. Ankush Minda

Is ban on balloons a matter of 'fun police'?

THE international symbol of birthday celebration, a balloon on the letterbox, could become a thing of the past in the Valley.

If a motion put forward by Councillor Greg Clancy at Tuesday's Environment, Planning and Community Committee meeting is passed at next week's Council meeting they could be banned.

The motion would see the banning of all balloons on council controlled land and facilities, which would dash hopes of bright bundles for kiddies park parties, community hall festivities and the familiar letterbox balloon signalling birthday celebrations.

Councillor Arthur Lysaught was concerned the ban would be take the fun out of children's celebrations. "If this resolution is adopted, would it encumbered upon council rangers to attend parks around the Valley and confiscate balloons from two-year-olds having parties?" he asked. "Are we going to be employing fun police?"

Cr Clancy said despite some councillors treating it as a "joke", the matter was "extremely serious".

"It's not the fun police, its trying to protect the environment," he said. "By bringing in these rules it doesn't mean we can necessarily police them all but we can have rules, and we can publicise them."

"Just having these protections may well save hundreds of lives in the oceans and reduce litter."

Cr Clancy said balloons released into the air can travel thousands of kilometres, endangering wildlife how get tangled in or choke on the plastic.

"This is not a big ask, this is not something that is going to harm anyone," he said.

"There are quite a lot of alternatives to balloons. You don't have to have balloons on you letterbox."

Mayor Jim Simmons said he was concerned about the lack of community consultation.

"It is an extremely serious matter but on other side of the coin we have kids at parties at parks. I'm not happy for council just to adopt a resolution without seeking some community consultation."

The motion was unanimously deferred to next Tuesday's Council meeting.

In the Corporate, Governance and Works Committee meeting, Council passed a motion to maintain council logos, despite one appearing to be balloons released into the atmosphere.

Councillor Karen Toms said she "can't support" keeping the logo. "I don't see it would cost council a lot of money by just slowly printing things without that logo on it."