Local federal MP, Justine Elliot (Labor) announced last week that Byron Shire Council will receive $49,500 in funding ‘to reduce light pollution and help protect the coastal habitat of Australia’s threatened species’.
Mrs Elliot says, ‘As more and more Australians choose to live near Australia’s magnificent beaches, light pollution is a growing threat for wildlife conservation, impacting turtles and migratory birds’.
She says, ‘The Byron Shire Coastal Light Management Plan will develop and implement a prioritised action plan for the sensitive ecological coastal environments it manages’.
When asked if Council has such a plan in place, a spokesperson replied, ‘there is currently no plan for reducing light pollution in coastal communities, so this grant will be used to produce a Coastal Light Management Plan’.
Council staff say the plan will include a ‘Review of coastal sites adjacent to Council-managed lands for sources of light pollution; review of lighting impacts on endangered migratory birds and marine life and impact assessment of potential wildlife likely to be affected by artificial light; identifying potential solutions to manage light impacts that are not currently being undertaken; identifying practical and sustainable actions and/or strategies that can be implemented within Council-managed lands on a prioritised basis; and a prioritised implementation program to renew and/or upgrade Council-managed lighting infrastructure’.