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Keeping King Island's future sustainable

The Minister for Environment, Parks, Heritage and the Arts, Michelle O’Byrne, has congratulated a group of King Island businesses for their efforts in reducing their environmental impacts, cutting back their operating costs and capturing a larger slice of the tourism market.

It follows an awards ceremony in Currie last week which publicly recognised the achievements of the 32 enterprises involved in the King Island Sustainable Futures program.

"The program was set up 12 months ago and it is great to see about 40 percent of King Island businesses taking part" Ms O’Byrne said.

At the awards ceremony, five enterprises were recognised for their outstanding sustainability actions during the program.

The winners include:

· Economic Award – King Island Regional Development Organisation.
· Social Award – Grassy Harbour Supermarket.
· Environmental Award – Rocky Glen Retreat.
· Sustainability Culture Award – King Island District High School.
· The Local Champion Award – King Island Coffee Shop.

The King Island Sustainable Futures program helps to enhance the profile of the King Island brand and attract more visitors to the island by demonstrating that the businesses and community value sustainable behaviour.

The King Island enterprises involved in the program include the council and the local school.

As a group the businesses have been able to reduce their use of energy, water and materials plus cut operating expenses by more than ,000 this year.

Local suppliers have been engaged and encouraged to stock a range of energy and water saving devices, and participating enterprises have incorporated such devices into their businesses to replace less efficient ones.

The State Government co-funded the program through its CleanBiz business sustainability initiative, which is designed to help Tasmanian enterprises benefit from resource efficient practices.

King Island Mayor Charles Arnold was confident the King Island Sustainable Futures’ participants would now take on new challenges in the interests of a more sustainable and resilient King Island community.

"Participants in King Island Sustainable Futures have been able to demonstrate the value of adopting more sustainable business behaviours and are keen to help other local enterprises benefit from this," Mayor Arnold said.

"The focus on building more resilient communities through greater business sustainability is timely in light of recent global financial and climate change challenges."

The sponsors of the program and the Awards include: Origin Energy, WorleyParsons, Hydro Tasmania, the local IGA Supermarket & Liquor, King Island Ports, King Island Council, National Foods and CleanBiz.