<a href="http://www.gmagazine.com.au/blogs/leon#">The Business of Green</a>

The Business of Green

Money matters in the green world, by Leon Gettler.

Government investigates climate change and tourism, again

lady musgrave island

Lady Musgrave Island - an uninhabited coral cay where tourists can camp at The Great Barrier Reef - is at risk from climate change.

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Australia has not yet decided what to do about global warming, but now the government says it plans to look at the impact that climate change will have on our tourism industry.

The Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism is to examine what greenhouse gas emissions could do to tourism over the next 60 years. For that, they’re bringing in a highly paid consultant when the information is already out there.

We all know that because of climate change, Kakadu's coastal wetlands will be inundated, the Great Barrier Reef will be left permanently bleached, and Alpine snows will vanish. We can also expect unique flora and fauna species to disappear. In fact, according to Roy Morgan Research most have nominated climate change as the biggest challenge for Australian tourism.

As reported here last year, the CSIRO has warned that we can expect cyclones in Kakadu and Cairns, bushfires in the Blue Mountains and disappearing snowfields.

The extraordinary part is that the same department was talking about doing this in 2008. According to this blueprint released at the time, they were talking about plans to look at the impact of climate change on the tourism industry and to develop strategies that would help it cope with the crisis. You have to ask what they’ve been doing for the last two years.

Isn’t the latest announcement just a reworking of an old announcement but released just when Labor is trying to woo back the conservationists during the election campaign? And should we assume that nothing has been done about the problem? For that matter, when is something going to get done?