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Tuesday 19 June 2012

Countdown continues to eclipse

Cairns Regional Council has begun its tasks of reminding residents to plan for the Solar Eclipse, as the countdown dips under the 150 day mark.

Council will launch an 'Eclipse Events Calendar' to help promote community activities to be held on the day.

“If you’ve thought about hosting a barbecue breakfast or any other activity to celebrate the eclipse, now’s the time to start planning,” Mayor Bob Manning said.

“If your event is open to the public, you can upload the details to Council’s website to let people know about it. There may be fundraising opportunities for community groups and charities.”

Cr Manning said the eclipse was a once-in-a-lifetime event that would bring tens of thousands of visitors to the region.

“Not only will we have a large representation of the scientific community, but people will travel from all over the world to experience the eclipse,” Cr Manning said.

“This means that there will be large numbers of people on roads and in public areas – so it is important to start planning now and, if possible, consider options that will avoid problem areas.”

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Bruno Bennett, from local solar eclipse event company PDEM, agrees saying that unobstructed viewing sites will be in high demand come November 14.

"If other total solar eclipses are anything to go by there's going to be a massive influx of people coming to our area.

"Relatively high tides are predicted for that morning so beach access to watch the event will be at a premium.

"There'll be a section of Four Mile Beach cordoned off for the 2000 runners we're expecting for the Solar Eclipse Marathon, so we're encouraging people to get organised so they can enjoy the spectacle," he said.

Tips from PDEM - solar eclipse event managers

1. People wanting to watch or capture the eclipse in a secure and controlled environment should be planning ahead.

2. Eclipse watchers who want ease of access to facilities such as toilets and/or services including catering can contact solar eclipse event managers to arrange secure or reserved areas.

3. Eclipse enthusiasts/watchers with special requirements may like to contact solar eclipse event managers to secure a limited space to view the eclipse.

For groups with special requirements eg. astronomers, students or special interest groups, fully serviced and secure viewing platforms can be arranged. These areas allow coach parking and drop off areas.

4. Those visitors who have not yet arranged accommodation there are still limited exclusive accommodation and prime viewing platform packages available with local events companies - for more information visit www.2012solareclipse.com.au.

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