Balloon ban may save turtles
TURTLE activist Lyndie Malan is calling for a ban on the release of hydrogen-filled balloons at the Capricorn Coast.
Lyndie, who lives on Great Keppel Island, says over the past 10 years she has seen 17 turtles perish after swallowing balloons.
And she wants the carnage to stop.
She's written to all the councillors on Rockhampton Regional Council asking them to follow the example of Noosa Council in banning balloon releases.
"These balloons go up and then everyone turns away to drink their tea and eat their sandwiches, but who thinks about what happens to the balloons after they have gone up with the wind from the west? Of course they come down, drift out to sea and end up in the water. We are finding turtles worldwide now with stomachs full of these things. It is tormenting me so much that people can still be doing this."
She's found an ally in Cr Glenda Mather who has promised to raise the issue at a council meeting.
"Balloons drifting in the sea and our waterways are not only a major threat to turtles, but are extremely hazardous to all innocent creatures which wrongly identify them as potential food," said Cr Mather.
"Once we are alerted to these serious events, we have a duty of care to do something constructive to prevent future injury and death."
Noosa Council has banned balloons at all its functions and Lyndie would like to see Rockhampton follow suit.
Cr Mather said she would ask her colleagues to raise the issue with the State Government to press for a statewide ban.
Meanwhile, Lyndie is calling on people not to release balloons if they could end up in the sea.