Bid to fight balloon ban

Claire Geldard, Stephanie Airey and Sarah Beitelis believe self regulation is the answer, not a total ban on balloons.

Story appeared in: Torch | June 5th, 2018

A FAMILY run Padstow business specialising in partying, has joined the push against growing calls to ban the balloon.
With a number of Sydney councils considering a total ban on balloons in public places due to environmental concerns, The Party's Here manager Claire Geldard said self regulation was the answer.
Besides her Padstow store, Ms Geldard runs a balloon decorating service. She's also a representative of the Pro Environment Balloon Alliance (PEBA), a self-regulating industry body that supports changes in legislation that help to prevent the organised deliberate release of balloons.
PEBA members agree to an industry code of conduct that includes the commitment to banning organised deliberate balloon releases and specific disposal requirements.
The Party's Here has been trading for 15 years, first in Panania, and for the past five years in Padstow.
"Rather than see a blanket ban on the sale of all balloons, we would like to work with local governments and the general public to spread awareness on the responsible use and disposal of balloons," Ms Geldard said.
Contrary to general belief, Ms Geldard said most balloons were made from biodegradable latex, and not plastic. She said a total balloon ban would have devastating effects on the industry.
Canterbury Bankstown Council has an internal policy which prohibits the use of balloons at council-run events but there's no overarching policy for the community.
"There are already NSW Government laws in place which prohibit the release of 20 or more gas-inflated balloons in the air at once," a council spokesperson said.
On the spot fines of up to $750 can be applied, under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act.
"The council itself has not used balloons at its community events for many years," the spokesperson said.

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Publication: Torch | Section: News | Author: Mick Roberts | Story ID: 137533 | Viewcount: 2367