Helium balloon ban spreads to WA

The Town of Cottesloe Council in Western Australia has joined several eastern seaboard councils in banning the release of gas-filled balloons which rise in the air and can drift out across the ocean to become a hazard for marine life.

The unanimously supported motion follows a decision last year to ban the balloons from council run events.

Awareness of the problems caused by helium balloons has been growing, following reports of their impacts on sea birds and marine animals.

Earlier this year, the Retail First chain of shopping centres in Queensland announced a ban on helium balloons following the discovery of the remains of one of its branded balloons in the stomach of a dead grey-headed albatross. All shopping centre promotions and individual retailers within the Retail First centres are covered by the ban. In July, the Sunshine Coast Council banned the deliberate release of helium balloons as a form of littering.

At the same meeting, the Cottesloe council also passed a ban on smoking in public places under the control of the council and on beaches.

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