The Palaszczuk Government is preparing Queensland for hotter climates by providing planning assistance across the state from our farms to our cities.
Environment Minister Steven Miles today launched two new plans to assist these sectors with climate change – the Agriculture Sector Adaptation Plan and the Built Environment and Infrastructure Sector Adaptation Plan.
The Queensland Farmers Federation, in partnership with AgForce and Growcom, developed the Agriculture Sector Adaptation Plan while leading industry lawyers DibbsBarker facilitated the Built Environment and Infrastructure Sector Adaptation Plan.
“We know farmers stand to be the hardest hit by a changing climate so the agricultural strategy will help them protect their properties, livestock and crops from hotter temperatures and severe weather events.
“This plan helps farmers make these changes now to stop them getting caught out later. This could mean infrastructure changes such as building shelter for animals to escape the heat or altering planting times for crops to avoid the hottest parts of the year.
“For long term crops there may even be options for using genetically modified plants that are better able to withstand high temperatures.
Mr Miles said the Palaszczuk Government was also supporting councils, town planners and developers to make their infrastructure as durable as possible in the face of climate change.
“The Built Environment plan will give the sector the resources they need to keep their communities safe in the face of hotter temperatures, more severe storms and sea level rise.
“We need to appreciate that these effects will have flow-on impacts on a number of industry sectors, including agriculture and infrastructure, and plan accordingly.
“Both plans involved wide-ranging consultation with industry stakeholders.”
“I thank QFF, AgForce, Growcom and DibbsBarker for leading the development of these plans.”
QFF Chief Executive Officer Travis Tobin said it was critical to secure a strong and sustainable future for Queensland’s primary producers, and that meant managing the risks posed by climate change.
“Risk management in all its forms is central to modern farming and business planning, and a changing climate must be considered a normal business risk that is incorporated into all decision-making,” Mr Tobin said.
“It is now essential that the barriers and gaps identified in the Plan are addressed and the recommendations implemented.
“Industry is committed to better managing climate risks and looks forward to working with government to deliver benefits for Queensland farmers.”
Dr Mark Gibbs, Director of Knowledge and Innovation at QUT and the new Chair of the Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy Partners group, said the Built Environment and Infrastructure Adaptation Plan revealed a sector that was embracing actions to reduce the risks that climate change presents.
“Members of this sector have a clear preference for engaging with their business partners to reduce climate risk,” Mr Gibbs said.
“The Built Environment and Infrastructure Adaptation Plan shows that climate change is no longer perceived as just a Corporate Social Responsibility issue, and there is recognition that if unmanaged, it presents a material risk to business operations in the short to medium term.
“It is encouraging to see collaboration between government, universities and the private sector to identify the kinds of real-world solutions we need to deal with climate change.”
Mr Miles said climate change adaptation was best achieved through collaboration.
“We will continue our work with key industry associations, universities and business representatives to identify the impacts of climate change on other industry sectors and will develop a further six sector adaptation plans over the next twelve months.
“These will look at climate change impacts on tourism; human health and wellbeing; small and medium business; biodiversity and ecosystems; industry and resources; and emergency services,” Mr Miles said.
Further information on the government’s climate change initiatives is available at www.qld.gov.au/environment/climate/climate-change.
Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
The Honourable Steven Miles