Earlier this year Maroondah City Council held a public consultation on its draft lighting policy. This is highly commendable as other councils have been known to go ahead and rollout new LED streetlights without any prior discussion.
The Maroondah draft lighting policy had many good aspects such as noting that light spill should not be excessive and the inclusion of timers and dimmers so that streetlights can be dimmed or even switched off late at night when not needed. However, the colour temperature of all lighting was specified at 4000K, that is a blue-rich white light for which there is strong evidence that it is harmful to humans and animals including insects.
Several experts from the International Dark-Sky Association Victorian Chapter put in submissions to the Council asking for changes to the draft lighting plan. In response Council commissioned an Environmental impacts Overview report that does propose considerable improvements. In particular, it recommends broadening the range of possible colour temperatures for public lighting down to 3000k; a pleasant yellowish light. Within the limitation that much of the public lighting is under the control of the Council’s network service provider AusNet and not the Council, this is a major step forward.
Once again, IDAVic would like to thank and congratulate Maroondah City Council for embarking on such a careful and wide-ranging public consultation regarding their lighting policy. It sets an example for other councils in Melbourne and elsewhere to follow.
An opportunity to make a comment on this Draft Public Lighting Policy for Maroondah.