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Ballooning on ANZAC Day – disrespectful of just a lot of hot air?

By Ingeegoodbee - 17 April 2008 41

It seems that the Canberra Balloon Festival has managed to get itself into a pickle with the local and national RSL with respect to their plans to have balloons in the air above Canberra on the morning of the 25th April. For want of a better source, the ABC has a snippet here.

Now apparently there have been balloons in the air on ANZAC Day for the past twenty five years with no one really getting their knickers in a knot. This year it seems that there’s some ACT Government involvment and perhaps in the past the flights were not officially sanctioned by the festival, but none-the-less the balloons were in the sky.

Bill Crews on the national RSL has a problem with the commercial aspect (although apparently just commercial balloon opperations because he’s silent on other businesses operating on ANZAC Day morning).

So, are balloons a viscious attack on this most sacred of days or is it a beat up? The usual suspects in the Sydney media are probably onto it. Could it be a case of sour grapes by the past (and recently dumped) organisers of the balloon festival trying to run interference?

[Ed. Devil_in_Disquiz was also on to this story and had the following to say in response to’s story where an ACT Govt spokesperson claimed “It won’t be going anywhere near the dawn service”]

Won’t be going anywhere near the dawn service huh ?? And how can this spokesperson give that assurance ? Is this spokesperson a qualified balloon pilot ? Last time I heard, hot air balloons were directionally controlled mainly by the prevailing wind.

Maybe Stanhope and his cronies are going to sit at the end of Anzac Parade and ‘talk’ these balloons away with their own hot air.

When is the ACT govt going to start actually THINKING about their decisions. Pigs arse they consulted with these groups. More likely they were sent a fax telling them what was going to happen.

What’s Your opinion?

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41 Responses to
Ballooning on ANZAC Day – disrespectful of just a lot of hot air?
Mælinar 2:46 pm 17 Apr 08

Err maybe I should have been more clear. Baloons can’t be there on ANZAC day because its in the flightpath of the jets that do the fly past(s).

It seems commonsense why they have never been there before, as several F1-11 thundering past would make them crap themselves as they are dragged into Mt Ainslie, presumably to their deaths.

Absent Diane 2:31 pm 17 Apr 08

balloostemy bags?

S4anta 2:15 pm 17 Apr 08

perhaps there are concerns about the balloons being confused with colostemy bags?

Thumper 1:49 pm 17 Apr 08

I march on ANZAC day as well.

I also believe this is a beat up as it’s not going to take away from the relevance of the day.

having said that I certainly would not like to see one floating low over the Anzac Parade when we are marching towards the AWM.

pug206gti 1:36 pm 17 Apr 08

Does it really matter where one celebrates/pays respects/gets blotto for the Festival of the Glorious War-dead?

Rum or champagne? Depends where you are in relation to the ground I guess.

GnT 1:10 pm 17 Apr 08

RSL national president Bill Crews says “It’s disrespectful. Why do we have to go ballooning on Anzac Day morning? There’s 365 other days of the year.”

Actually, most people work most days and ANZAC day is one of the few days they can take their family down to watch the glorious spectacle of the balloons. In fact, I can’t think of a better way to spend ANZAC Day morning then going to the dawn service, grabbing some brekky at a commercial establishment then watching all the colourful balloons in flight over the city.

captainwhorebags 12:54 pm 17 Apr 08

It’s all a beat up. As pointed out, other commercial air services run so why shouldn’t this one?

I’ve got all the time in the world for those who choose to serve their country in the armed forces, but I’m sick of the crusty oldies who want to dictate exactly how the rest of the country should pay their respects. Much like the self appointed ANZAC day watchdogs criticising kiddies wearing someone elses medals on the left breast when there is no official regulation against it whatsoever.

Oh, and as The Terror reports, Dr Nelson has a sobering warning for us all: “You can never underestimate the stupidity of the ACT Government when it comes to these kinds of events.” If only his colleagues in the ACT Libs could put together a viable alternative.

Snahons_scv6_berlina 12:51 pm 17 Apr 08

yet another example of people who have nothing better to do than beat up on something for the sake of wasting time.

JD114 12:38 pm 17 Apr 08

What right does the ANZAC day service have to interfere with the balloons? Unless the balloons somehow disrupt the service then I find it difficult to believe that there is merit in the RSL’s position. As for the commercial aspect, will he shut down the petrol stations and newsagents until the end of the service as well????

All the authorities need to do is establish an exclusion zone for balloons around the Dawn Service for the duration. And as for the assertion that the balloons have no contol over their direction, any ballooning pilot will tell you that unless there is an obvious consistent wind from a particular direction, there is usually a reasonable amount of control in direction by finding differing levels of wind.

On the day a decision could be made by the organisers and if no indication of a prevaling W to SW wind then OK to launch, and a minimum height of say 1000′ agl could be mandated over Reid and Campbell in the unlikely event a balloon got pushed over the area of the service.

Quite simple really for people who choose to consider the facts and think laterally once in a blue moon.

Mælinar 12:35 pm 17 Apr 08

I march on ANZAC day, and have done in Canberra on and off over the last 10 years – to date I’ve never seen a balloon yet.

If a balloon ‘invades’ the airspace between Parliament House and the War Memorial, there is a bloody good risk they will get run over by several big fast things – its no secret, they do it every ANZAC day.

If they want to push the point, I see no reason for the fighters to stop.

Ingeegoodbee 12:34 pm 17 Apr 08

I would understand that diggers and their relatives might find that a 25m high Bart Simpson drifting over head distracts somewhat from the solemnity of the occasion, but where the balloon launch and the dawn service don’t coincide I cant see the issue.

ant 12:30 pm 17 Apr 08

I presume all aeroplane traffic will also be grounded during the ceremonies? Or just the brightly-painted aeroplanes, like all Virgin Blue planes and those disgraceful Qantas jumbos covered in silly pictures.

DarkLadyWolfMother 12:29 pm 17 Apr 08

If the end of the Dawn Service is before the start of the balloons rising, I can’t see what the issue is. If, for some reason, they overlap, then I can see there may be issues – especially if the wind is going the wrong way.

Absent Diane 12:24 pm 17 Apr 08

I fail to see how balloons are disrespectful to ANZAC day… if the balloons said something offensive directed at the diggers then yep sure. But otherwise who gives a fck!!

tuggers 12:20 pm 17 Apr 08

I understood the lift off on Anzac Day would be delayed until an hour after the conclusion of the dawn service. The cynic in me asks how much business the family orientated balloon festival will take away from the clubs who are allowed to open and sell food and grog when other places are shut.

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