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King Island Businesses Embrace Sustainable Future

A new program on King Island is asking local businesses to think about their sustainability and almost 40 per cent of businesses on the island have taken up the challenge.

The King Island Sustainable Futures program was launched by the Minister for Environment, Parks, Heritage and the Arts, Michelle O’Byrne at Currie.

The program asks businesses to think about ways they can reduce their environmental impacts.

About 30 King Island enterprises, including the council and the local school, are aiming to reduce their use of energy, water and materials plus cut operating expenses by a least each year.

They have signed on to the 12-month program to focus on their resource efficiency performance and to examine better ways of using resources to help minimise operating costs and the production of waste.

During the launch, the Minister said the State Government is committed to maintaining Tasmania’s clean, green reputation and is co-funding the program through its CleanBiz program, which is designed to help Tasmanian enterprises benefit from resource efficient practices.

The King Island Sustainable Futures program is the result of CleanBiz, King Island Council, National Foods and Hydro Tasmania coming together to help create a grass roots initiative to stimulate and progress new ideas and to educate local enterprises about the concepts of sustainability.

The launch was well attended by members of the King Island community and members of the Environment Division including CleanBiz Industry Liaison Officer Damien Blackwell and Senior Environmental Officer Rosemary Holness.

During her visit to King Island, the Minister was shown the award winning wetlands sewage tratment at Currie, the new Parenna Landfill and the new waste transfer station.

She also unveiled the new plaque to mark the makeover of the main street in Currie. This included fresh paintwork, new paving and the building of shelters for new bench seats shaped like turkeys. Wild turkeys roam freely on King Island and have been adopted by the King Island Council as the symbolic icon for the Currie revamp.

CleanBiz Industry Liasion Officer Damien Blackwell says beef, dairy and kelp products from King Island are well regarded nationally and internationally, and island enterprises can all benefit from engaging with this sustainable business management program.

"The businesses participating in King Island Sustainable Futures will also help reduce the island’s impact on climate change and give them an extra measure of control with respect to energy, water and material costs," he says.

King Island Mayor Charles Arnold said tourism is also a significant source of income and a key part of the island’s sustainable future.

"King Island Sustainable Futures will boost the renowned King Island brand to help grow not only exports but visitor numbers to the island," Mr Arnold says.

"I would like to see the program helping to refresh and sow new business relationships that enable enterprises to better coordinate and optimise particular processes or activities, such as those relating to purchasing and supply chain management."