Balloon ban

FREMANTLE council has taken the first step towards banning helium balloons from the city’s parks and reserves.

At this week’s finance, policy, operations and legislation committee, councillors voted to amend the city’s laws so it would have the right to prohibit the use of inflated balloons on property it owns.

The laws would also rope in the use of drones for the first time.

The council had planned to leave the control of drones up to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, but decided to step up its own powers following the backlash from attendees at last year’s Anzac dawn service which was marred by noisy buzzing.

Consultation on the change to the laws attracted 11 submissions, with eight supporting the ban on inflated balloons on council-owned land.

Only two objected to the ban, including a local business owner who’s a member of the balloon industry and the Pro Environment Balloon Alliance, who says it negatively impacts on industry and livelihoods.

The objector says balloon-related art adds fun and happiness to the community and says balloons would be less of an environmental problem if there was an education campaign about not releasing them into the atmosphere.

The committee’s decision will get voted on at the next full council meeting.

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