Deliberate release of balloons is littering.
Balloons are a common source of litter found in waterways and on beaches across the Sunshine State and can cause serious harm to marine and bird life which is why their deliberate release has been banned in other jurisdictions including New South Wales and our very own Sunshine Coast.
When deflated balloons are floating in waterways they can be ingested by marine life such as turtles, fish and dolphins. This leads to stomach blockages and ultimately starvation. In turtles it will cause floating syndrome and vulnerability to propeller strikes. Birds too can ingest the balloons and suffer serious health issues - they also become entangled in the strings attached and die.
There are many other ways to celebrate or mark special occasions: releasing butterflies or doves, floating fresh flowers or candles, planting a tree - just to name a few.
There is no intention to ban the sale of helium balloons.
The Queensland Youth Environment Council has established a petition, calling on the Queensland Government to consider the ban of "deliberate release of helium balloons" - you can support this request by signing this petition here.
In 2013, our petition calling on the Queensland Government to ban the release of helium balloons received 473 signatures - the Minister acknowledged the harms caused by helium balloons, but stopped short of initiating an investigation or imposing a ban - read the Minister's response here.