Small businesses prepare for climate change

The Palaszczuk Government is supporting small businesses to prepare for the impacts of climate change, with the launch of the Small and Medium Enterprise Sector Adaptation Plan.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) and small businesses have worked with the State Government to develop the adaptation plan which was officially launched last night.

Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said the plan recognises the challenges that Queensland’s nearly half-a-million small and medium sized businesses are facing due to climate change.

“The Palaszczuk Government has been assisting eight sectors in Queensland to develop plans to reflect the needs and priorities of each sector in adapting to climate change,” Ms Enoch said.

“These sector adaptation plans are an important component of the Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy, and they identity emerging opportunities, promote the sharing of knowledge, and encourage collaboration as we work together to address the challenges that we all face due to a changing climate.”

Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman said the small and medium business sector was the state’s largest employer, and contributes about $113 billion a year to the state.

“We want to help businesses to work smarter and save money,” Ms Fentiman said.

“This adaptation plan sets out seven action areas to better support business owners to plan and get ahead of the impacts and opportunities climate change is bringing.

“The impact of the flooding in Townsville and across Northern and North-West Queensland is still being felt, and along with last year’s Central Queensland bushfires, it demonstrates how extreme weather and disasters affect businesses and their communities.”

Minister Enoch said a number of proposed actions under the plan reinforce the important role of Queensland’s ecoBiz program, which CCIQ delivers and is funded by the Palaszczuk Government.

“The ecoBiz program works closely with businesses helping them save on their energy, water and waste bills,” she said.

“With average temperatures climbing, air conditioning, refrigeration and other costs are impacting the bottom line for businesses, but improving some daily practices or upgrading facilities or equipment now, can raise a business’ financial sustainability.

“Minimising waste and reusing or recycling as much as possible is just a no-brainer for so many businesses today. And the waste levy will boost opportunities for businesses in the recycling and resource recovery sector – creating jobs – while reducing the amount of waste ending up in landfill.”

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland CEO Stephen Tait said the plan addresses the resources, education and training needed to help small business owners manage threats while seizing new opportunities.

“It supports small businesses to reduce the impacts to their bottom line as well as to explore opportunities to bolster their business into the future,” he said.

“Our goal is for Queensland business to be ahead of the crowd when it comes to taking advantage of the opportunities to attract more engaged consumers, generating practical solutions and idea-sharing across the sector.”

The Small and Medium Enterprise Sector Adaptation Plan builds on the Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy and Queensland Climate Transition Strategy, which aim to make Queenslanders more innovative and resilient through managing risks and harnessing opportunities under a changing climate.

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