Streets are dark as lights remain switched off following tampering and gunshot damage

Alexandrina Mayor Keith Parkes and CEO Glenn Rappensberg.
Alexandrina Mayor Keith Parkes and CEO Glenn Rappensberg.

Controversial streetlights at a Clayton Bay housing estate will remain switched off as community consultation takes place, following years of debate on the issue.

During 2006 and 2007, Alexandrina Council addressed concerns from residents regarding the activation of new street lights associated with the Pelican Waters land division.

In December 2007, councillors voted in favour of generally supporting a "no street lights policy in Clayton Bay," while requesting that five new lights on Alexandrina Drive be deactivated and that new lights within the Pelican Waters development remain unactivated while no or few dwellings exist there.

Since this decision, the Pelican Waters estate has generally remained without lighting for the past 12 years.

In a recent council report it was noted that during early 2019, "numerous complaints were received from residents of Clayton Bay due to reports of lighting activations occurring in Pelican Waters."

Since January, lights within the estate have been activated and subsequently deactivated by SA power Networks (SAPN) upon requests from the public.

Continued tampering and intentional damage (including fuse removal and wire cutting) to lights has since been reported to SA Police by SAPN.

Additionally, there has been a "long history" of evidence which suggests lights have been shot at by small calibre fire arm arms.

Over a three week period in August 2019, a resident of Clayton Bay requested SAPN activate up to 23 lights on the estate.

A Council audit on August 28 confirmed that 28 streetlights were operating, when previously only about 10 had been in operation.

According to the council report, the "exact numbers of active lights are unclear due to anecdotal evidence of regular tampering and damage to light infrastructure from residents."

Council liased with SAPN to request that the 18 additional lights be deactivated in line with their 2007 decision before a community session was held at the Clayton Bay Community Hall on September 7.

A number of passionate views for and against lighting were presented, which resulted in elected members approving formal community consultation, which is running between November 7 and 21 and accessible via: mysay.alexandrina.sa.gov.au

The culmination of this consultation will be used to create a Public Lighting Plan for Clayton Bay.

In the meantime, the current level of lighting does not meet Australian standards, leaving the council at potential liability risk.