Yankalilla Council knocks back Dark Sky Community Designation status

NO: Councillor Glen Rowlands moved for Carrickalinga to be considered a Dark Sky Community.
NO: Councillor Glen Rowlands moved for Carrickalinga to be considered a Dark Sky Community.

Carrickalinga will not become an International Dark Sky Community.

A motion supported by Mayor Glen Rowlands and councillor Alistair Christie that council support in principle the creation and support of Carrickalinga to be an International Dark Sky Community was defeated at the June 15 council meeting.

The Carrickalinga Ratepayers Association performed a presentation with Sharolyn Anderson from Australian National University on Carrickalinga applying for International Dark Sky Community Designation status, but there was little council support.

The guidelines require a comprehensive set of tasks and commitments to be made. One of the requirements is that full shielding of all lighting fixtures over 1000 initial lamp lumens occurs. There are 35 Street Lights in Carrickalinga and to meet International Dark Sky Community Requirements the cost estimate is more than $23,450.

Councillor Davina Quirke said the dollars needed to be a Dark Sky community was a concern.

"We have many other projects happening that needs our attention and finances," Cr Quirke said.

Councillor Leon Zarins said he was not aware of the cost. "The ongoing costs could be a worry. It is not a small amount."

Dark Sky communities minimise artificial lighting and reduce light pollution. For naturally darker and less-populated rural areas, dark sky protection is an important opportunity to preserve an ever-shrinking natural resource and capitalise on economic benefits including energy cost savings and increased tourism.

Another motion by Cr David Olsson and supported by Cr Simon Rothwell that council investigate other options in the district for the support of International Dark Sky communities was also defeated.

"It is still an exciting concept. We should explore further," Cr Olsson said.

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