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International Dark Sky Park Accreditation for Bunya Mountains
Bunya Mountains is split into Western Downs Regional Council (WDRC) & South Burnett Regional Council (SBRC). We are proposing International Dark Sky Association (IDSA) accreditation for Bunya Mountains Dark Sky Park, accredited at Gold status when nominated.
Astronomer James Barclay started nomination but SBRC lacked Light Management Plan (LMP) expertise & one of the councillors misrepresented LMP to Bunya Mountains SBRC residents with some now blocking progress. SBRC & WDRC have failed to survey all ratepayers who overwhelmingly support Dark Sky Park as per 10th February 2019 meeting. With conservative politics appearing to influence SBRC & WDRC’s lack of support for Dark Sky Park, sentiment is over-riding the debate & the economic & ecological benefits are being ignored.
As Queensland’s Minister for Environment supports Dark Sky Park “in principle”, we ask SBRC & WDRC to recognise the economic & conservation values of Dark Sky Park & support us. There is no street lighting in Bunya Mountains & as current light readings of 21.78 are above the 21.75 Gold Tier IDSA status, all that is required is basic lighting adjustments by a minority of house owners.
Dark Sky Park at Warrumbungle National Park:
Bunya Mountains is the primary natural areas tourism destination in drought declared Western Queensland. UNESCO recognised Bunya Mountains qualities in 2010 with the world’s largest forest of Gondwana period Bunya Pines & the cultural significance of Bunya Mountains, 'the holy mountain', to Traditional Owners.
International research & Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve New Zealand study shows hundreds of millions of dollars in tourism per year, increased property values & rental yields & improved conservation of noctural fauna such as powerful owls, antechinus, tawny frogmouths, mountain possums, fire beetles,melomys, flying foxes & microbats. By better conserving the nocturnal fauna species, this would also significantly assist the natural regeneration of Bunya Mountains’s flora. There are 130 nocturnal species that would directly benefit & 1500 fauna & flora species in total including 5 endangered fauna species.From 1992 to 2012, light pollution doubled globally & the world’s dark skies & the fauna & flora that rely on them - including humans - are now at threat.
Can you please ensure that this opportunity being presented is taken up with local government support to improve Bunya Mountains’s long term economic and environmental sustainability?
These are the Aoraki McKenzie Zealand Dark Sky Reserve reports:
Winklmoosalm International Dark Sky Park:
Why is this important?
The world is quickly losing its dark skies due to light pollution. Light pollution doubled globally between 1992 and 2012. Bunya Mountains has unique fauna including fire beetles and powerful owls that need dark skies for their survival with Australia's vulnerable nocturnal fauna being at threat of extinction given the impacts of climate change.
How it will be delivered
Emails to mayors and officials at both councils