9 July, 2016. 11:05
CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | Contact
New South Wales premier Mike Baird has announced plans to ban all ball pits in the state by 1 July, 2017.
The decision follows an inquiry into the industry following revelations of some kids peeing in ball pits, and other one-off circumstances that suggest that toey high schoolers sometimes have sex in them.
Baird has called for an end to the industry standard, usually rectangular and padded ball pit, filled with small (generally no larger than ~7cm) colourful hollow plastic balls, often found at nurseries, carnivals, amusement parks, fun centres, fast-food restaurants, and large video arcades.
This announcement marks yet another blanket ban on recreational activities for the citizens of NSW.
Commissioner and former High Court judge Hugh McMichael recommended Parliament consider whether the form of recreation had lost its “social licence” to operate and should be shut down. If the industry continued, he said there was a “very real risk” that practices such as ball-pit-peeing would continue.
The report found up to 20% of NSW ball pits had experienced infants peeing inside them which often results in a “catastrophic stench” for nearby property owners.
“Our ball pits are not capable, in the short or medium term, of reforming,” the premier said.
“The report found that ‘it appears unlikely that the issue of little kids pissing their pants and horny teenagers bonking inside them at night time can be addressed successfully in the future’.
“I’m all for a fun time, but having sex out of wedlock, in a hilariously obscure public place is just unacceptable. Whether their are people watching or not,”
“As a humane and responsible Government, we are left with no acceptable course of action except to ban all ball pits, forever” Baird said.
“This is the inevitable conclusion to be drawn from the appalling revelations in Mr McMichaels’s report and his considered view that any other measures are unlikely to protect property owners from further pongy smells.”
The decision was sparked by a Four Corners expose that revealed some of the country’s top entertainment precincts had germy little ball pits filled with grotty little kids.
The program, titled “Causing A Stink”, broadcast footage of toddlers pissing their pants in ball pits in three states, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales. The incidents were captured in secret surveillance footage by animal rights group Animals Australia.
It sparked inquiries, suspensions, arrests and criminal court cases across the country.
In NSW, deputy PM and racing minister Troy Grant sacked the board of Ball Pits NSW and CEO immediately following the revelations.
Ball Pits NSW generates around $48 million in revenue annually, and launched its own inquiry, with last year’s annual report featuring an extensive apology and way forward for the industry.
There are over 10,000 direct jobs in Ball Bits NSW and nearly 6000 registered owners.
But the damning report by McMichaels’s Special Commission of Inquiry found extensive and systematic pee-pee, with between 48,891 and 68,448 of the 97,783 children placed in ball pits by their drunken parents at RSL clubs had gone pee-pee.