Students from Murwillumbah East Public School have presented their ideas to address light pollution to deputy mayor Chris Cherry.
Students from Murwillumbah East Public School have presented their ideas to address light pollution to deputy mayor Chris Cherry. Supplied

Student suggestions taken up by deputy mayor

STUDENTS at the Murwillumbah primary school who convinced Tweed's deputy mayor to push for light pollution guidelines in the shire say they are still pinching themselves.

Deputy mayor Chris Cherry said she was so impressed with the presentation from year five and six students at Murwillumbah East Public School about the issue, she brought it to the last council meeting.

Following a vote, council has supported guidelines to tackle light pollution in the small town.

Science teacher Megan Lindsay said staff and students were "pinching themselves” as a result of the council decision.

"It has shown our students that even if they use their voice correctly and well, they can have an impact,” she said.

"It is the biggest thing we have learnt at our school, is that students can be heard.”

While the small Tweed Shire town is not known for its major lighting infrastructure and would not be recognisable on a satellite image, the Murwillumbah students identified areas they believed the council could address.

"We did a light audit and the students found that a lot of the public lighting was old and didn't have light-shields,” Ms Lindsay said.

"They didn't have LED lights which are better environment and we identified many lights in Knox Park were superfluous.”

These suggestions have evidently had a profound impact on the deputy mayor, who had her motion pass at the August 1 meeting.

"The next steps are incorporating the 'Dark Sky' principles into lighting replacements and new installations wherever possible,” Cr Cherry said.

"One of the specific issues raised, the tall main light in Knox Park, will be replaced with a shielded, better directed light when the renovation of the entry area is done later this year.

"The passion and commitment these young people have shown to their future is outstanding.”