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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (18 February) . . Page.. 290 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

road, you can certainly see the very distinct differences in the types of lighting and the impact they have in terms of glare, in terms of casting glow into the sky - all these sorts of issues - and whether they are actually being used effectively to light appropriately and safely with minimum glare.

Mr Speaker, it was disappointing to see the Government's response to this report. What the committee was able to find - I should not be saying the committee's "report" because it was not a report, it was a discussion paper - was that - - -

Mr Humphries: It was a report - Report No. 38.

MR CORBELL: Was it a report?

Mr Moore: Yes.

MR CORBELL: I apologise.

Mr Moore: We did a discussion paper first, then a report.

MR CORBELL: It was a discussion paper first, and then a report. I apologise. Quite clearly, a number of cities around the world are now making a very conscious decision that the scale and type of lighting that they use have to be reconsidered and dealt with in a way which reduces glare, which reduces glow escaping into areas where it is not needed. Those cities are ones where they have an increasing and very important role in terms of night sky observatories. I would have to say that one of the great beauties and advantages of living in Canberra is still the opportunity to see the night-time sky in pretty much all of its glory. I live in Gungahlin. I have, I think, a privileged position, in that there is not an enormous amount of glare being cast from the Gungahlin area yet and much of the night sky, particularly to the north and north-west, is still very dark. We get quite a spectacular view as a result.

But, Mr Speaker, that is under threat. We have certainly seen that with some of the developments of lighting around the new Gungahlin Town Centre, where there have been some very large floodlights put into place to light the car parks around the town centre, and they cast a considerable glow into the night sky. Perhaps that issue could have been addressed at an earlier stage with a more proactive government policy.

I take Mr Humphries' point about the considerable cost in relation to this. But it would seem to me that, even in relation to new developments, where there is the opportunity to reduce the amount of glare from specific new developments such as the Gungahlin Town Centre, that opportunity has not been taken. Indeed, that is a situation that needs to be addressed.

I think, if the Government is not prepared to deal with the all-encompassing issue of existing lighting across Canberra, it should be prepared to perhaps look at some of these newer developments and the opportunities to reduce glare in those developments. For instance, in Gungahlin, there is an opportunity to significantly cut down on the amount of glare that escapes to the night sky, but we have not seen that really effectively done yet.

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