Page 1824 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 4 May 2005

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last year by the government. We should buy locally produced food for sustainability reasons but also for local reasons.

I think it is very important to realise that we live in a region. We all use the region; we are crossing the border constantly; we go to the coast; we go to the hills; we go to the mountains; we go to Sydney. We do live in a region, and I think it is really important that we, as a market—because we are primarily a market and consumers rather than producers—actually do whatever we can to foster our local economy. We get back from that because people then come here. They come here with their goods. Perhaps they buy something before they leave, given that most people take an economic approach to everything. I throw that in.

The farmers market was an initiative of the Rotary Club of Hall, and I think this is one example where a service club has managed to cotton on to something that really covers people’s needs. It has really taken off. There are a variety of stalls; you can go there and buy pretty well anything that you need—fruit, vegetables, local meat, bread, flowers, local free-range eggs, local wines, plus of course the jams and sauces. You can sit down and have a coffee, and you can sit down and eat.

The flyer was put out for this one-year birthday party. It just showed how it is not really just a market where people come and sell; it is actually a group of stallholders where they are encouraged to interact. There are meetings of stallholders. The Rotary Club arranges their insurance on a cost-recovery basis; so it is made as easy as possible.

I guess that this ties in with something else that has just begun in the ACT, which is the slow food branch. I guess everyone has heard of the slow food movement which basically says that, instead of rushing into a McDonald’s—I am sorry, I used a brand name—fast-food seller, we actually go to a restaurant, sit down and enjoy our dinner. This is perhaps a novel concept and one that certain fast-food purveyors would rather that we did not consider. But it is something that has taken off.

The slow food movement began in 1986. It is an international movement, and there are something like 83,000 members worldwide officially—people who bother to join the club. But slow food people often do not bother to join things; they just sit at home and chew their food 30 times, as mother told them to do. We can be sure that the slow food movement is actually quite a strong reaction to the fast food culture that we have had thrust upon us, and we can be fairly sure that it leads to good health not just of individuals but of our community.

I would like to see the farmers market extended, perhaps more broadly publicised, and perhaps brought into the city.

Fairbairn Park

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (6.15): Mr Speaker, this is probably for the Minister for Planning as much as anything, although I am delighted that Mr Gentleman and the minister’s cabinet colleague Ms Gallagher are here.

Sometime last year the government started the process to renew the longstanding lease of Fairbairn Park. Fairbairn Park is run by the Fairbairn Park Control Council and the

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