Page 1674 - Week 06 - Thursday, 3 June 2021

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I look forward to working closely with Minister Steel and other colleagues in the coming years to undertake further work in this space, ultimately working to remove more cars from our roads and getting people onto public transport, while developing robust, comprehensive solutions to a range of transport matters that address the needs of all Canberrans.

We need flexible, reliable and sustainable options for Canberrans to move around our city. Those options need to be affordable, easy and convenient. They need to be socially equitable and account for all sectors of our community. I thank Minister Steel and the staff and executive of Transport Canberra for their work to understand these important community issues around transport and to develop holistic, long-term solutions for the benefit of our community and the environment.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


Ministerial statement

MS VASSAROTTI (Kurrajong—Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage, Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services and Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction) (10.30): I was delighted to give the opening address at the second Food in the Capital event in mid-May and attend the delicious local dinner. This key event highlights the incredible food grown, processed, and cooked in our region, the passionate people behind it, and the promise of how much more we can achieve for the ACT by working to transform our food system.

Food is a necessity, a fundamental human right, and one of life’s great pleasures. Food sustains life, it shapes culture, tradition, customs and beliefs, and brings our community together. We want to ensure that every Canberran has access to healthy, affordable, locally grown and sustainably produced food. We want to support and grow our local food economy.

To fulfil this promise, we need a new vision for our territory’s approach to our agriculture and food systems with a goal of establishing a food bowl for Canberra. To this end, I will be reviewing the ACT’s agriculture policy. Working closely with my ministerial colleagues with carriage on land management, water, waste and climate action in the coming months, I will develop and release a draft policy for public consultation that lays out a clear vision of the settings we need to grow a food bowl for Canberra and transform our food system.

Establishing a Canberra food bowl is a critical piece of the puzzle as we re-envisage our city and territory to be resilient, sustainable and prosperous in a climate changing world. We need local food to build our resilience. It is estimated that over 90 per cent of our fresh leafy green and fruit supply comes from Sydney. That is a vulnerability for our community. As we prepare for more frequent and severe natural disasters, history tells us that it is important we reduce our reliance on external fresh food supply.

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