Helping tourism businesses meet environmental challenges

Date: 06/04/2009

A call is going out for participants in a new initiative to help Western Sydney tourism businesses cope with rapid population growth and other environmental pressures.

The Sustainable Tourism Enterprise Partnerships (STEPS) pilot program is designed to help businesses adjust to environmental challenges such climate change and the additional 600,000 people expected to move to the North-West and South-West regions of Sydney.

The population growth will significantly increase the pressure on the natural and rural environments which are key attractions for tourists.

Mr Bruce Simmons, from the UWS School of Natural Sciences, and Associate Professor Robyn Bushell, from the UWS School of Social Sciences, have created the partnership program with the Hawkesbury City Council.

Mr Simmons says the new program has a strong foundation in the ideals of Triple Bottom Line - where economic, environmental and social requirements have equal weight.

"The STEPS program has been designed to assist tourism businesses identify financial savings and opportunities for increased efficiency as well as strengthening environmental and social performance," he says.

"There are clear benefits for businesses, the community and the environment."

To learn more about the program, an information day will be held at the Hawkesbury Visitor Information Centre from 10am-2pm on Friday 24th April 2009.

Information will also be available from the Hawkesbury City Council stand at the Hawkesbury Agricultural Show (1 to 3 May 2009).

Those attending the information events will receive an outline of the program and hear the benefits to businesses including case studies.

Interested businesses can also sign up for a short training workshop on the program at the information events or by contacting:

Ms Dianne Tierney, Hawkesbury City Council on 02 4560 4444 email: or Mr Bruce Simmons, UWS School of Natural Sciences on Ph: 4570 1847 email:

The STEPS program is part of the Sustainable Places pilot program funded by the NSW Government Environmental Trust.



Senior Media Officer

Paul Grocott
02 9678 7083, 0406 429 304