LETTER: Bright idea to lure star gazers to our backyard

RECENTLY Leonie Blain wrote in the Voices for the Earth column (DEX 28/3): "While Australia does not have any areas with Dark Sky status, it has places - some in our region - which could qualify and potentially boost tourism."

Around the world there are now more than 55 International Dark Sky Parks and Reserves. These include sites in Chile, USA, France, Wales, England, Scotland, Hungary, Ireland, Germany, Canada, Namibia and New Zealand.

Countries that have Dark Sky Parks and Reserves are reaping a financial reward for this type of tourism.

A good example is New Zealand. They get thousands of visitors every year from Japan. Mostly these people wish to experience pristine dark skies because the Japanese night skies are so severely light-polluted.

This undated image provided by the Smithsonian Institution showing streetlights on Earth at night, is part of an exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington entitled: Earth from Space. A dark blue layer was added to the image to show where land masses are located. European cities are especially bright, and in Egypt, lights glitter along the Nile. (AP Photo/Smithsonian)
This undated image provided by the Smithsonian Institution showing streetlights on Earth at night, is part of an exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington entitled: Earth from Space. A dark blue layer was added to the image to show where land masses are located. European cities are especially bright, and in Egypt, lights glitter along the Nile. (AP Photo/Smithsonian)

But there is another reason; the southern hemisphere sky is very different to that of the northern hemisphere and… far more interesting.

I don't care why tourists come to our valley, without doubt we need an economic boost of some sort.

So, what about a Dark Sky Park for the Clarence Valley?

Steve Fletcher, South Grafton



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