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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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One of the most important observatories in the world is Siding Spring Observatory in Coonabarabran, NSW.


It is one of the few light observatories in the world that can observe the whole southern-hemisphere sky.


The observatory's work is crucial in understanding the universe and how to protect our planet's fragile environment.


For the telescopes at Siding Spring Observatory to work, the night sky must be dark and free from light pollution.


In 2016 the International Dark Sky Association declared the surrounding region of Siding Spring as Australia's first Dark Sky Park.


The status of Dark Sky Park recognises the importance of protecting the region from light pollution.

How we are protecting the dark sky

To help protect the Dark Sky Park and region surrounding Siding Spring Observatory, we produced the Dark Sky Planning Guideline [PDF, 5.06MB].


The guideline:

  • sets out planning controls for development near Siding Spring Observatory
  • provides advice on how to minimise light pollution in your home
  • details good lighting design principles

Read the Dark Sky Planning Guideline

The Environment Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 requires consideration of the Dark Sky Guideline for certain development near Siding Spring Observatory.


In our video Dark Sky Guidelines [2:16] Chief Astronomer Fred Watson talks about how our guideline is helping protect Siding Spring Observatory.

Video transcript: Dark Sky Guidelines.

Page last updated: 22/06/2020