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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 1 November 2018) . . Page.. 4680 ..


The Weston Creek orchard, for those of you who do not know about it, is next to Fetherston Gardens. Fetherston Gardens were the gardens which were part of the horticultural CIT in Weston. Possibly unfortunately—it seems unfortunate to me—all of this has been centralised in Bruce and those gardens have now been taken over as community gardens. They are not food gardens but they are very beautiful gardens. Ms Cody joined me there on Sunday for the 50th anniversary of Weston Creek.

These sorts of things are as important as our champions to drive engagement in schools such as Mount Stromlo Primary and Majura school, where they produce food for themselves; they cook it, and it is food for the local community. There are champions of the community like Communities@Work and Marymead, who particularly engage the vulnerable parts of our community in food growing. Also, Housing ACT has supported a number of community gardens in some of their complexes.

I realise I am running out of time, but I must mention, as Ms Cheyne did, the issues of drought and climate change. We all know here that climate change is leading to more droughts and hotter weather. One of the things that our farmers have to do is adapt to the impacts of climate change and adjust their farming practices to mitigate climate change.

There are many things that we need to do, of course. One of the things we need to look at is some of the work of pioneering farmers such as Peter Andrews, who have changed how they farm so that their farms are retaining water and soil quality. Some members may have seen Australian Story earlier this week, which focused on natural sequence farming. This sort of thinking was out of the box when it first started but it has now become obvious that it is what should be done. It is now tried and effective, and it would be really good if we could help our local farmers to work on it, too. This is something that the ACT government can facilitate.

In closing, thank you, Ms Cheyne, for this motion. This is a very important issue. I would love to have at least half an hour to do justice to my speech and give a tiny amount of justice to this major issue for everyone who lives, and therefore eats, in the ACT.

MS CODY (Murrumbidgee) (4.15): I value local primary producers. The ACT is a source of excellent wine, dairy products, honey and many other products that we are less aware of. Please excuse me for not discussing the grains and vegetables, as my peculiar set of allergies mean I cannot eat them; therefore I am not as aware of them.

I do, however, note, as Ms Le Couteur did, that the Canberra City Farm has an open day on Sunday, 11 November. I am very excited about their urban farming initiatives. There are great opportunities to reduce food miles. For those who are not aware, that is the distance food travels between production and consumption. There are many cases now where food grown close to us is transported hundreds, if not thousands, of kilometres for processing and then brought back to feed us.

From an environmental perspective, this is madness. But, even worse, this is often motivated by the economics of using places with lower pay, lower safety standards,


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