The Whitsunday coastline in Queensland, Australia.
Sustainable Whitsundays: a strategy for a sustainable future
Sustainable Communities Initiative partners are working with the Whitsunday Regional Council on a strategy to guide the sustainable development of the region.
15 September 2008 | Updated 14 October 2011
The Whitsunday region is famous for its string of idyllic islands fringed by the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. The region attracts 800 000 domestic and international tourists each year, which in turn supports a vibrant business sector. Tourism is the main industry but the region’s natural resources also support mining, sugarcane, cattle grazing and other agriculture.
The challenge for the Whitsunday Regional Council is to balance the needs of a growing residential population with an expanding tourism sector and various agricultural enterprises.
This balance needs to protect and enhance the natural resource base on which the region’s economic and social well-being depends.
Whitsunday Regional Council is a key local partner on this project. Other local partners include:
the Whitsunday Development Corporation
local stakeholder groups
the Queensland Government Department of Tourism, Regional Development and Industry
Australian Government Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources.
The challenge is to balance the needs of a growing residential population with an expanding tourism sector and various agricultural enterprises.
Seven Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI) partners are contributing their skills and expertise to the project, including:
CSIRO brings project leadership and research expertise to the venture
Delfin Lend Lease offers urban design expertise
Insurance Australia Group provides regional scale risk data
Westpac presents investment options and sectoral analysis
WWF Australia provides information on environmental issues, impact and indicators.
Guidance on Catchment Management Authorities and linkages to climate change mitigation and adaptation programs are provided, respectively, by the Australian Government Departments of Agricultural, Fisheries and Forestry, and Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.
The way forward
The Sustainable Whitsundays project is currently in the first phase of a proposed three-phase project.
In phase one, the project focuses on articulating the social and environmental aspirations of the Whitsunday Regional Council.
Phase two will focus on building capacity and developing necessary tools and the strategy will be implemented in phase three. The development and maintenance of productive partnerships is fundamental to the success of this project.
The SCI Sustainable Whitsundays project runs from October 2007 to September 2008.
What is the Sustainable Communities Initiative?
The Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI) is a multi-partner program bringing together skills and expertise from the private, public and community sector to develop and deliver innovative solutions to local sustainability issues.
Find out more about The Sustainable Communities Initiative.