Page 363 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 17 February 2015

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Minister, has already talked about some of the work that Karinya House does in providing short-term supported accommodation to young mothers to help them care for their babies and teach them the skills that they need as young parents. The ACT government is continuing to invest in this critical service by investing about $736,000 in the expansion of the Karinya House facility.

Through this expansion, we will be investing in a new level of service, which includes the mother and baby unit which we have already talked about and which is such an important part in supporting families. This unit is part of the placement prevention component of the strategy and will extend to provide practical in-home support to mothers and fathers struggling to care for their babies. All mothers should have a chance to parent their child. For those who are assessed as high risk parents, learning how to care for a child in a supported environment can make all the difference.

I thank the Minister for Children and Young People, Mr Gentleman, for the work that he has done in implementing this strategy and for bringing his statement to the Assembly today.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Food security ministerial roundtable

Ministerial statement

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Justice, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Transport Reform) (10.56), by leave: On Thursday, 22 May 2014 I hosted a roundtable on food security in the ACT. The key focus of the roundtable was to explore ways the ACT government can facilitate increasing the amount of food consumed in the ACT region that is produced and processed locally.

Food security is an important issue nationally, and for Canberrans. It is a global issue, essential for livelihoods, economies and environmental protection. It is also a local issue, from regional food production through to community gardens. Canberra has a tradition in this regard, particularly with the earlier suburbs providing larger blocks that were designed to integrate food growing in backyards.

Agriculture should be sustainable within the local context, taking into account climate variability, water availability, soil fertility and wider emerging issues such as climate change and peak oil. Land and water should be valued as scarce and precious resources, and with ecological communities and ecosystem services being protected.

The roundtable was keen to see an increase in locally produced food, less food wastage and organic matter being diverted from landfill and instead being composted for local food production. Issues around valuing the skills of food producers and researchers were also raised. Attendees were keen to foster networking between local and regional growers to enhance their resilience to changing conditions and cooperate with neighbouring regions to enhance food security. The roundtable was an example of this type of networking.

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