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Protection Regulations in Place for Sutherland Central Astronomy Advantage Area

May 30, 2019

Department of Science and Technology

30 May 2019

Protection Regulations to be applied within the Sutherland Central Astronomy Advantage Area (CAAA) are in place.

The science and technology department published the regulations in Government Gazette 42492.

The regulations were drawn up in terms of sections 50 and 51 of the Astronomy Geographic Advantage Act of 2007.

Regulations on Financial Compensation Procedures for the Sutherland CAAA are also included in the notice.

The protection regulations focus on prescribed conditions for lighting activities, activities creating air pollution, wind turbines generating electricity, assessment of light pollution, extension of the one-year period, financial compensation and contraventions and penalties.

The regulations apply to specified activities within the Sutherland CAAA declared for optical astronomy purposes and related scientific endeavours.

The restriction of the specified activities within the Sutherland CAAA is designed to protect optical astronomy observations from a detrimental impact.

Persons undertaking restricted activities on the effective date have one year to comply with the regulations.

The regulations on financial compensation procedures focus on procedures and criteria to apply for financial compensation, processing of the application by the management authority, determination of compensation by the minister and acceptance or rejection of the offer by the applicant.

The regulations apply to individuals who, on the effective date, conduct activities that may impact on optical astronomy and related endeavours within the declared Sutherland CAAA.

Such individuals who suffer proven financial loss due to compliance with the protection regulations can apply for compensation.

Potential applicants have two years to submit applications.

Both sets of regulations came into effect on the date of publication.

Meanwhile, in Notice 806, the department has declared certain mining activities to be prohibited within the Sutherland CAAA.

The prohibited activities include open cast mining and mining dumps at ground level and hydraulic fracturing (or fracking).