Win-win as BBQ lights come on
POST-CHRISTMAS barbecues can now extend into the night after the shelters lining the Bargara foreshore were fitted with turtle-friendly lighting.
Those who want to enjoy a barbecue can now do so until the extended time of 10pm, in the knowledge they will not be affecting the laying habits of the coastal town’s favourite visitors.
Holiday-maker from Emerald, Viv Hewitt, was all for the idea, and was well aware of the significance the turtles had in the area.
“I think changing these lights is a great idea for us and for the turtles. The kids can play and hang around much longer and, of course, the turtles will be safer for it,” Mrs Hewitt said.
“It’s a beautiful spot here and it’s good to see that we can still enjoy ourselves without worrying about endangering the turtles.”
Bundaberg Regional Council responded to calls from the Environmental Protection Agency last month, at the start of the season.
The previous fluorescent lights meant residents and holiday makers were forced to turn the lights off at 7.30pm, but with the special low-frequency bulbs, they can now be operated without having to rush and without confusing the turtles coming to shore.
A small normal light is still in place over the barbecues themselves so people will know when their barbecue meal is cooked properly.
“The new lights are a win-win situation for the turtles, our residents and our visitors, all of whom treasure this unique piece of paradise,” councillor Greg Barnes said.
“And I think council was quick to act in time for the Christmas holidays.”
The council has already changed most lights in coastal parks and shelters as an initiative of the Cut the Glow campaign.
“The turtles are such an important part of the region, and whatever the cost is to further protect them, it is worth every cent,” Cr Barnes said.
The technology used for the new barbecue lighting is slightly different to that of the street lights along the esplanade, but the end result is the same.
“This is just another step in the process of turning the entire shoreline into a turtle-friendly environment,” Cr Barnes said.
“These ancient mariners are a part of our lifestyle and it is upon us to do everything that we can to keep them coming home to nest.”