Page 2601 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 28 June 2011

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Ayes 10

Noes 5

Mr Barr

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Coe

Mr Smyth

Dr Bourke

Ms Hunter

Mrs Dunne

Ms Bresnan

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Hanson

Ms Burch

Ms Porter

Mr Seselja

Mr Corbell

Mr Rattenbury

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Debate adjourned to a later hour.

Community gardens

Statement by minister

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services), by leave: I am taking the opportunity today to report back to the Assembly on the government’s consideration of matters relating to community gardens. On 9 March this year the Assembly passed a motion calling upon the government to consider, through an interagency working group, a number of issues to improve support for the establishment and operation of community gardens. The Assembly further called upon the government to report back to the Assembly on each of the issues listed by the last sitting day of June 2011.

Firstly and most importantly, I would like to confirm the government’s support for the establishment and operation of community gardens in the ACT. Community gardens provide an opportunity for many different members of the community to engage in food growing and gardening activities for their personal use and pleasure. Current research findings demonstrate extensive benefits of community gardens. These benefits are for both the wider society as well as for the individual.

Community gardens provide a wide variety of opportunities for growing food locally, connection with nature, supporting active living, physical and mental health and wellbeing, promoting healthy eating, active ageing, social inclusion, creating a sense of community, addressing food security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Interest locally in community gardens has been increasing in recent years.

The community’s value of community gardens was stressed in the sustainable future workshops held by the ACT Planning and Land Authority in 2009-10 and was raised as one of the highest priority short and medium-term actions. In October last year the government supported, through an environment grant, a conference at the University of Canberra on the subject of community gardens promoting sustainability, health and inclusion in the city.

Food security and community gardens, food miles and the role of Canberra as a distribution centre for regionally produced food was a common theme in the “time to talk” workshops held last year. I note that the Time to talk—Canberra 2030 outcomes report defines the community’s desired future view of Canberra, which forms the basis for the draft planning strategy.

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