I'm thankful Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has taken steps toward climate change adaptation.
However, Council should also actively share what they know about climate change impacts with our local business community.
At the least, they should share the climate information council has included in core operational and strategic planning.
According to council's climate information report, local businesses will face higher temperatures, more heatwaves, longer and more intense bushfire seasons, heavier rain fall events (flooding), less frequent rain fall events (drought and water restrictions), and inundation due to sea level rise.
Unsurprisingly then, council's insurer is demanding a new Climate Change Risk Management Plan. However, the insurer's interest is less likely to be about damage and disruption to local businesses and our economy, and more likely to be about covering council's assets and risk of litigation.
If council were to communicate known climate impacts to our business community, business owners could make their own informed decisions to adapt and deal with these impacts.
Construction companies might plan ahead to ensure safe working conditions for tradies and labourers during heat waves and hazardous air quality.
Businesses with large water consumption might invest in processes and equipment to manage future severe water restrictions.
Tourist operators might pursue alternatives to summer/bushfire season as the prime tourist season.
More local farmers might seek funding to initiate evidence-based processes to improve soil water retention, and drought/flood resilience.
Through transparent communication, council would unlock business resources and foster an economy that is more resilient to the impacts of climate change.