Page 2292 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 9 May 2012

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For people who do not know permaculture, it was in fact an Australian idea. It was developed by Bill Mollison and David Holmgrem in the 1970s and it has grown a lot since then. I periodically get wonderful emails about people going to Cuba to teach permaculture, and even more from those who go to learn about permaculture, because the Cuban community, particularly after the various crises they have had, have done an awful lot of work about urban agriculture and using permaculture principles in it.

I have here a definition of permaculture:

While many people associate permaculture with growing food, it is also about architecture, animal husbandry, water harvesting, renewable energy, forestry, finance, and legal systems.

It was actually the first place where I heard about ethical investment. From an Australian point of view the ethical investment movement largely came out of the permaculture movement.

In the ACT there were a number of events held by the local permaculture group on the day. The group is called Permablitz and it specialises in doing sort of backyard blitzes but they are on a permaculture basis. I have taken part in a couple of those where people have totally transformed their backyards into something that results in less work, more food, more fun, more beauty.

There will be some more things happening from the permaculture line in the ACT. In Canberra there will be a spring permaculture design course held at the TAFE in Phillip and the Canberra Discovery Garden open day at Weston.

Looking at it more widely, permaculture and international compost day are important because food is vital. Compost is vital to keep the nutrients in our soil. This is one of the reasons the Greens bang on so much about organic waste. Organic waste can produce compost. Compost is what makes high quality soil, what makes things really, really grow. You could say that permaculture is one strand of agriculture, primarily organic.

I just want to say to all members of the Assembly how important these issues are. We need as an Assembly, as a society, to start paying more attention to food issues, to agricultural issues. This is the foundation of our society and our economy and we need to get it right.

Woden Valley Soccer Club

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (6.24): Last Friday I had the pleasure of attending a sports dinner organised by the Woden Valley Soccer Club at the Southern Cross Club in Woden. I was there in dual capacities as patron of the club and as shadow minister for sport. My colleagues Jeremy Hanson and Alistair Coe were also in attendance, along with around 180 people all eager to listen to Les Murray from SBS.

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