BRIGHT FUTURE: St Catherine's Catholic College Year 9 students Ella Crossley, Maddison Scott-Fitzgerald and Jayde Wallace with panellists Andrea Mearns, Jonathan Cutting and Sarah Vickery.
BRIGHT FUTURE: St Catherine's Catholic College Year 9 students Ella Crossley, Maddison Scott-Fitzgerald and Jayde Wallace with panellists Andrea Mearns, Jonathan Cutting and Sarah Vickery. Shannen McDonald

Students quiz business leaders about sustainability

THE future of sustainable business practices in the Whitsundays has been put to the test at a recent Sustainable Business Forum.

St Catherine's Catholic College Year 9 students had the opportunity to ask representatives from seven local businesses about their sustainable practices as part of their sustainability and ethical consumerism studies.

Businesses put under the spotlight included Ocean Rafting, Cruise Whitsundays, Veris, Big4 Adventure Resort, Abell Point Marina, Sugar Services Proserpine and Whitsunday Regional Council.

Topics raised included sustainable farming practices, environmental damage prevention and Cyclone Debbie recovery.

St Catherine's Catholic College curriculum leader of humanities, Erin Laguna, said the student's engagement with sustainable business practices was invaluable for the future of the Whitsundays region.

"These students are our future, so it is really important that they are engaging with people in local business," she said.

"The students are able to relate to these businesses because they are from the area and they can see first-hand what they do and the impact this has on the community they live in."

Sugar Services Proserpine manager Frank Millar said the forum was a valuable opportunity for students to grasp a stronger understanding of the sugar industry in the region.

"They have been learning about business practices that impact the area in which they live and speaking with them on Tuesday they do have a reasonable understanding of how businesses operate in the area which is only going to grow with more experience," Mr Millar said.

"One of the topics I spoke about that the students were mainly keen on was the use of fertilisers and chemicals and their effect on waterways.

"I explained that there are very strict rules about having the soil analysed to determine which type of fertiliser can be used before a farmer can plant a sugar cane crop."

Student Ella Crossley said the forum allowed her to learn more about how businesses engaged with the region.

"It was interesting to hear from the speakers about things we see around the region that we don't know what they are for, but now we do," she said.


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