Business leaders meet at Beaudesert to declare a climate emergency

ACTION: Business 4 Climate Action says sustainability should be a priority and not an afterthought. Photo: Supplied
ACTION: Business 4 Climate Action says sustainability should be a priority and not an afterthought. Photo: Supplied

A GROUP of climate-aware businesses have met at The Centre on Thursday and agreed that actions speak louder than words when it comes to responding to the climate crisis.

Group facilitator Innes Larkin of Mt Barney Lodge opened his address to the attending business leaders with a quote from Margaret Mead:

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's only thing that ever has."

Small businesses from the sectors of tourism, retail, transport, art and farming from the Scenic Rim and surrounds gathered at The Centre in Beaudesert at 10am on October 10 as the newly formed Business 4 Climate Action group.

As well as having a Facebook presence to connect across the dispersed Scenic Rim area, the group was also meeting in person on a region-by-region basis.

Cr Michael Enright and Scenic Rim Regional Council's team leader Environmental Policy and Services Joshua Baker were also in attendance and took part in the round-table discussion.

The meeting began with the sharing of lived-experiences of two local businesses, who explained how climate change had directly impacted their business operations.

Lisa Groom from tour company interNATIONAL PARKtours gave a harrowing account of the impact of bushfire which threatened her business premises and home at Beechmont, and destroyed her family's legacy at Binna Burra.

Farmer Gregie of 4Real Milk, a founding member of Farmers for Climate Action, outlined the current impact of climate change on farming, the difficulty in acknowledging the reality of climate change within the industry, the need for increased government incentives to allow an immediate transition to a sustainable model of farming, and the positives that can be gained with regenerative farming practices.

Kay Tommerup from Tommerup's Dairy Farmstay said she wrote the following on a notepad while she was creaming up butter in her dairy for inclusion in the meeting's proceedings: "Food security should be one of our top priorities, and by working with farmers to offer support, encouragement and reward for effort, we can achieve a solution that will offer that security."

The outcome of the meeting was that 10 of the businesses present declared a climate emergency in their own business, in order to lead others to take climate change more seriously.

The group said this declaration sent a clear signal to other businesses and all levels of government that sustainability should be a priority and not an afterthought.

They said in the face of climate change "business as usual" was no longer an option, and it was business action that could show leadership in responding to the scientific fact of the coming climate crisis.

For more information, contact Tracey Larkin at climate4businessaction@gmail.com or call 55443233.

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