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Sky darkens over Carrickalinga

The Fleurieu App

Staff Reporters

06 June 2024, 2:39 AM

Sky darkens over Carrickalinga

Carrickalinga has become the first official Dark Sky Community in Australia, after three years of work by its ratepayers’ association.


DarkSky International aims to preserve and protect the environment and the heritage of dark skies through environmentally responsible outdoor lighting.


It works to counteract the harmful effects of light pollution across the world - unwanted, inappropriate or excessive artificial lighting at night. 


Light pollution disrupts wildlife, impacts human health, wastes money and energy, contributes to climate change and blocks our view of the universe.


In collaboration with the District Council of Yankalilla, the Ratepayers Association and Carrickalinga locals have monitored sky quality and run a community information and education campaign.


This included stalls, presentations, flyers, a video teaser, and a Star Party to engage and inspire the wider community. 


The group worked closely with council on a community consultation process, a new lighting policy and preparation for a public lighting design compliant with DarkSky and Australian Standards.


The council says dark sky does not mean dark ground and safety will not be compromised. 


“Responsible outdoor lighting means that light is better targeted to where it is needed, does not spill upwards toward the sky or into windows, and is amber rather than white in colour. 


“It meets the needs of people to see at night, conserves energy, avoids harmful effects on both human and wildlife health, and protects our night sky.”


There are four other Dark Sky Places in Australia, but Carrickalinga is the first Community. 


President of Carrickalinga Ratepayers Association, Amy Gebhardt, is thrilled with the Dark Sky Community accreditation. 


“The preservation of our night skies not only protects the awe that comes in looking up at the dazzling stars, but importantly it protects First Nations cosmology, the health of our wildlife and the many cultural stories of the stars”, she says. 


“Our community is incredibly proud that within an hour of the city of Adelaide, Carrickalinga will remain one of the greatest places to enjoy the night sky.”


For more information visit the DarkSky International website.


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