Cottesloe is WA’s first council to ban releasing of helium balloons By Zorana Mackovic The City of Stirling could be the next council to issue a ban on the releasing of helium balloons after it’s councillors voted to investigate the issue and the impact it has on the environment. The decision of banning the release of helium balloons was passed down by a unanimous vote by the Cottesloe council. Garry Bird, Cottesloe Town’s Manager of Corporate and Community Services, said he was delighted with the decision, but fines could not be issued for offenders just yet. “We cannot issue any fines until we get the get-go from the State Government,” Mr Bird said. Whether or not helium balloons cause any damage to the environment is a topic that needs to be further discussed and researched. Jennifer Scott, from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, said that the damage helium balloons cause to the environment is not very well known. “It must do damage to the marine life but to what extent we don’t know,” said Ms Scott. Lauren Brown, a supporter of Boycott Balloons Fremantle said that she would be happy to see the ban on releasing helium balloons, statewide. “I think that councils around Western Australia should follow Cottesloe’s footsteps,” she said. “Even if the balloons themselves don’t cause damage the strings that they are tied to must count as littering. “That cannot be good for the environment.” Boycott Balloons Fremantle have been fighting to ban helium balloons for two years and are happy to see the first council ban in WA. The ban on releasing helium balloons comes just after the ban on plastic bags that goes into action from the 1st of July 2018. There has been no word from the City of Fremantle on banning helium balloons.