Greens hope to deflate balloon industry

The balloon industry has thrown its support behind a move by the Greens to kerb the outdoor use of helium balloons – but only to an extent.

The “balloon” amendment to the Litter Act 1979 (WA), introduced by WA Greens MP Robin Chapple this week, aims to make it illegal to “inflate a party balloon outdoors, have an inflated party balloon outdoors, or release or cause an inflated party balloon to be released outdoors”.

Pro Environment Balloon Alliance (PEBA) founding member Brian Gray said the industry opposed the release of helium balloons into the atmosphere.

“We are categorically against the release of helium balloons and do not condone it or sell for deliberate release,” he said.

“We’re happy to work with any state or legislation trying to achieve that.”

But Mr Gray, who owns Balloon World in Myaree, said he did not want to see a ban on the inflation of all balloons outside.

“It borders on ridiculous,” he said.

“The balloons are still biodegradable and weighted down so what’s the problem?”

If passed, the legislation will allow officers to issue on-the-spot fines for offenders, with the maximum penalty being $5000 for individuals and $10,000 for corporations.