Businesses from across the Mackay and Whitsundays Region were given crucial crisis management training and toolkits at this week's CrisisReady workshops.
The workshop was delivered by EarthCheck in a partnership between QTIC, Mackay Tourism and Tourism Whitsundays and was funded by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority.
The CrisisReady workshop and app have been developed to help businesses and destinations to plan for, respond and recover from the effects of disasters and crisis events such as cyber attacks, cyclones and bushfires.
Following Cyclone Debbie and last year’s bushfires, Mackay and Whitsundays were selected as the first pilot of the CrisisReady training workshop. Further workshops are set to take place in Cairns.
The free, half day workshop provided strategies and business planning activities that both small and large operators can implement prior to, during, and after a crisis strikes.
A newly developed CrisisReady app was also unveiled for attendees to download. The app features key contacts, safety information, documentation and alerts together with all crucial information needed to assist a businesses to respond to and recover from a crisis event.
Chief Executive Officer of EarthCheck Stewart Moore further explained the details of the CrisisReady program.
“The CrisisReady program and app, we have launched this week, builds on the work that Mackay Tourism have already undertaken to assist the tourism industry to respond to crisis events,” he said.
“The CrisisReady program however, takes risk assessment and emergency response to the next step by providing operators with a practical app that allows them, at any time to have access to a business continuity plan that can immediately mobilised to respond to a hazard or event" he said.
Mr Moore continued, “the reality of our current operating environment is that it’s not a question of if a crisis will occur, but when. This app provides an understanding of how to plan for risk, train your staff, and how to become part of a regional action group to respond to crisis events as they occur.”
Attending the workshop was Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park Owner Ben Atherton. Affected by Cyclone Debbie, Mr Atherton detailed why risk management is crucial.
“Having experienced Cyclone Debbie, I thought it important to share our experiences in risk management to the Mackay business community. During natural disasters such as cyclone, the entire region is affected, so it’s important to work together to help get individual businesses and the wider industry back on their feet,” he said.
“Long term, the new CrisisReady app will be a very important resource to assist businesses like mine to plan for, and then mitigate the risks that all business owners face,” explained Mr Atherton.
Mr Atherton finished by saying, “Mackay Tourism events like these are very beneficial in developing a profitable and professional tourism industry.”
Mackay Tourism General Manager Tas Webber, attended the event and encouraged all businesses in The Mackay Region to download the CrisisReady app.
“Although our beautiful tropical climate more than makes up for it, the reality of operating a business in North Queensland means eventually climate risks present themselves.”
“Most risks can, to a degree, be planned for and certainly during and after a disaster, strategies and support are available to assist recovering businesses. The new app launched yesterday from QTIC and EarthCheck, should be downloaded by all businesses owners, big or small, in the tourism industry or otherwise.”