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King Island Show patrons express interest in a sustainable future

Patrons at last week’s King Island have expressed strong interest in taking part in a forum looking at alternative energies.

The forum was one of several issues raised at a show display to promote the new King Island Sustainable Futures Program – a joint initiative between CleanBiz (which is managed by the Department of Environment, Parks, Heritage and the Arts), the King Island Council, National Foods (King Island Dairy) and Hydro Tasmania.

The program’s key objective is to assist a group of the island’s businesses to reduce operating costs and their environmental impacts by focusing on resource efficiency.

Later this month the 32 businesses involved in the program will be assessed and offered specific recommendations and mentoring on how to improve their sustainability performance.

Clean Biz Program Officer Damien Blackwell said the show was an ideal place to outline the basics of the King Island Sustainable Futures Program and explain which businesses are involved and why.

"We also wanted to promote the name and logo – and hope to raise the profile of the program with in-store window stickers, re-useable bags and road signs," he said.

The show display was also a chance to canvass ideas about making King Island plastic-bag free and more than 50 people indicated support for this idea. After signing the petition to express her support, Yarra Creek resident Sam Baker was quick to show off her alternative shopping bag.

"I fashioned about six of these bags from swatches of children’s curtains, partly as a starter project with my new sewing machine but also to create a reusable shopping bag that's sturdy and has recycled content," she said.

A list of residents with an interest in participating in an alternative energy forum was drawn up after discussions at the show. King Island resident Graeme Batey said that the alternative energy forum would be a great opportunity for island businesses and residents to discuss the latest energy technologies relevant to the island’s specific energy situation.

"What islanders want are energy solutions - wind, solar or some other form - that are realistic in terms of financial cost. We also want solutions that reduce reliance on diesel generators and give more control to the community," Graeme said.

Visitors to the King Island Sustainable Futures Program display were also able to make an immediate practical contribution to offsetting their carbon emissions by taking and growing native seedlings, courtesy of ‘The Frogshack’ – a native plant nursery on the island.

Forms for the community to register interest in a plastic bag-free island and alternative energy forum will be available at the IGA supermarket and Council Offices in Currie for the next two weeks

For further information about the King Island Sustainable Futures Program, please contact Damien Blackwell

Phone: 6233 7850
Email: CleanBiz@environment.tas.gov.au
or visit www.environment.tas.gov.au/cleanbiz/