SAVE THE TURTLES: Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey at Kalkie State School, announcing the council will ban the release of helium balloons.
SAVE THE TURTLES: Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey at Kalkie State School, announcing the council will ban the release of helium balloons. Sarah Steger

GALLERY: Students sway mayor to ban helium balloon releases

LETTERS from Kalkie State School students to Bundaberg Regional Council asking to protect the region's marine animals have been answered with enthusiasm.

In a classroom overflowing with young student leaders and environmental advocates, coupled with media and Mayor Jack Dempsey, the council today announced it had amended the local law regarding the external release of helium balloons.

Cr Dempsey said the initiative had gained momentum after students of the Reef Gaurdian School sent persuasive, hand-made letters to the council.

"Kalkie State School has a magnificent engagement with environmental issues and this year received the Australia Day Green Award for the many environmental protection projects with which it is engaged," he said.

"I received a deputation of students from Kalkie last year that raised the issue of helium balloons and the dangers they posed to our sea turtle population once the deflated balloons fall into the sea.

"One Year 2 student, Kia Brown, in a personal message to me said 'T balloons could kill our turtles and we don't want them extinct like the Tasmanian tiger'.

The ban on the release of helium balloons is expected to be adopted at the council's meeting in Childers today.

"It is still OK to use the balloons as long as they are secured, inside buildings or areas where they cannot escape into the atmosphere," the mayor said.



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