A sustainable Whitsundays

ABOUT 20 dedicated Airlie Beach tourism businesses were acknowledged last week by the State Government for participating in Queensland's landmark pilot Sustainable Regions Project.

The businesses ranged from restaurants to accommodation houses and transport to tour operators and all put forward some level of commitment to reducing the environmental impact of their operation.

Each business involved is put through an environmental audit, which quantifies its environmental impact based on a range of indicators from use of materials, to electricity and more.

Suzette Pelt from Queensland Yacht Charters said the audit had been an eye opening experience.

“It's amazing to find out what a difference a few small changes can make,” Mrs Pelt said.

“Even making sure that all the computers are shut down when you leave the office or taking more care about how much paper you use can reduce your environmental footprint significantly.”

All businesses involved are asked to take steps to reduce the figure that is calculated on an annual basis.

Member for Whitsunday Jan Jarratt was positive about the way the program had been received by the Whitsunday tourism industry.

“We want holidaymakers to feel comfortable that their visit to Queensland will be an environmentally ‘guilt-free' experience,” Ms Jarratt said.

“The pilot phase of the program had been considered a resounding success, with State Government, local council and the Airlie Beach tourism community all coming together to take part in reducing the carbon footprint.

“This program encourages a unified approach across the region with common goals that will provide guidance for all tourism operators in their response to climate change.”

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