Twist in City of Rockingham’s proposed balloon policy

Baldivis business owner Rosina O'Neill fears she will not be allowed to do balloon twisting in City of Rockingham venues or on council parks if there is a blanket ban on balloons.
Baldivis business owner Rosina O'Neill fears she will not be allowed to do balloon twisting in City of Rockingham venues or on council parks if there is a blanket ban on balloons.

A PROPOSED council policy on single-use plastics and balloons was carried unanimously at the City of Rockingham meeting on Tuesday.

The council approved drafting a policy, along with supporting Turn the Tide on Plastic Guideline, for the purpose of public advertising.

During question time, Rosie O Facepainters and Entertainers owner Rosina O’Neill warned councillors the policy would hinder her job.

Part of her Baldivis business is balloon twisting at Rockingham events.

“It would knock out half of my business,” she said.

Miss O’Neill said while helium balloons should not be endorsed, the balloons she used were biodegradable.

She said they were made from latex from rubber trees.

Miss O’Neill said she was concerned the policy would affect about 20 local businesses.

“It would be like throwing out the baby with the bathwater,” she said.

The City prepared a draft single use plastics and balloons policy to minimise the effect single-use plastic and balloons had on the environment.

A report to council said evidence suggested single-use plastics were already polluting the City’s nearshore environment and a lack of action could result in a level of harm requiring long-term remediation.

The policy requires single-use plastic items be substituted with compostable or reusable alternatives where possible.

It applies only to City operations, traders operating with a permit issued by the City and events held in thoroughfares, public places and on City-|controlled land.

The policy will be supported by a new Turn the Tide on Plastic Guideline, which provides detailed information to assist in making the switch away from single-use plastics, while also educating businesses or individuals that want to reduce their plastic impact.

The guideline will be distributed as part of the community consultation.

Councillor Joy Stewart said the policy was moving with the times and showed leadership by the City.

“It’s an easy action everyone can take,” she said.

Cr Katherine Summers said it was a great step forward.

Mayor Barry Sammels said the City would be doing lots of public consultation and Miss O’Neill could put in a submission.