Draft Planning Position Statement Dark Sky and astrotourism

Policy
The Western Australian Planning Commission sought public comment on a draft planning policy to protect our dark and night sky locations through limiting light and dust pollution.

Western Australia’s celestial landscape is an extraordinary natural asset. Our night skies offer exceptional viewing opportunities for scientific and recreational star gazers that could unlock new tourism opportunities around the State.

The draft Dark Sky and Astrotourism Position Statement provides a set of principles and flexible cost-neutral land use planning measures to reduce pollution from dust and artificial and natural light, which can obscure the true night sky, appearing as an orange haze.

The policy will enable planning decision-makers to consider pollution sources and the impact of the amount, direction, time and type of artificial lighting in an area or proposed development on the night sky.

The draft Position Statement has been developed in consultation with the Shire of Gingin and City of Wanneroo, the Gravity Discovery Centre, Perth’s resident observatories and selected Government agencies.

What is astrotourism?

Astrotourism combines scientific and recreational observation, photography and the environment with tourism.

It is emerging as a new product in our local tourism market, generating unique dark sky viewing opportunities and experiences.

Local communities could benefit from the proposed measures in the draft position statement, which encourage unique astrotourism offerings such as desert tours, traditional Aboriginal cultural experiences, nature-based camping, themed festivals, photography and scientific learning centres.

Submissions

Submissions closed Friday 26 March 2021.

Contact

For more information, email darksky@dplh.wa.gov.au or call our project officers on (08) 6551 9452 or 6551 9229.

Documents

Page reviewed 10 September 2021