New lights to cut the glow
BARGARA Central Shopping Centre is doing its bit to help cut the glow with the introduction of “turtle-friendly” lights to the shopping complex’s car park.
The $20,000 upgrade, which is a joint initiative between centre managers Stockwell Property Management and Woolworths, is set to take place in the next couple of weeks, with the new low-pressure sodium vapour lights on order from Sydney.
Stockwell property manager Joanne Radcliffe said since the centre first became aware of the problem in February this year, the car park’s lights were being switched off from 9.30pm during nesting and hatchling season.
“The issue was brought to our attention by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services and we have since been liaising with major tenants and stakeholders to develop a solution and action it,” Ms Radcliffe said.
Ms Radcliffe said she hoped the centre’s actions helped the community become aware of the glow problem as well.
“Turtles are such a huge part of the community and tourism to the area, that we had to do our bit to help,” she said.
Woolworths Bargara manager Kevin Hutcheon said he was pleased to do his part to cut the glow.
“Woolworths and Stockwell have been working together, splitting the costs of replacing the existing lights with low-pressure sodium vapour lighting designed to reduce brightness,” he said.
Mon Repos Conservation Park ranger-in-charge Cathy Gatley said the new lights could not come soon enough, with another turtle becoming disorientated by the light on Monday night.
“We did have a disorientated nester at Mon Repos. It was night, there was a lot of cloud cover, and after she nested she got turned around by the glow from Bargara,” she said.
Mrs Gatley said the increase in glow when the shopping complex first opened was easily noticed.
“We noticed an increase when the lights went on and hopefully by changing to low-pressure lights it will decrease,” she said.
Ms Gatley said so far this season about 70 loggerhead turtles and four flatback turtles had visited the beach.
To book a turtle tour, visit www.bookbundabergregion.com.au.