Page 367 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 17 February 2015

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which will provide great opportunities for education and community engagement in food production. I think this is an excellent example of where targeted government support and facilitation can help unleash an enormous amount of community interest and goodwill. This is something I would like to see more of. I present the following paper:

2014 Food Security Round Table—Ministerial statement, 17 February 2015.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (11.09): I thank Minister Rattenbury for bringing this matter forward this morning. I acknowledge the considerable work that Minister Rattenbury and his team have undertaken in pursuing a number of these issues. Recognising that they cross over portfolio responsibilities, it has been very good to have this level of leadership within the community. I am particularly interested in the tourism opportunities that Minister Rattenbury has highlighted. There is no doubt that the region’s food and wine offerings are starting to get the recognition nationally and internationally that they deserve. It has been terrific to see the Canberra District Wine Industry Association, for example, and its members achieving such significant levels of recognition.

Minister Rattenbury also highlighted a number of other important ACT government initiatives in the area of community gardens, for example, that are being pursued and I think have greater opportunity. One need only see the level of community interest and support for events like the farmers market at Exhibition Park each Saturday to get a sense of what is a broader community movement towards more support for regional produce. It is very heartening to see the economic development opportunities that are emerging for high quality producers in this region. I think this opportunity today is timely to raise these issues again. I certainly look forward to working with Minister Rattenbury in those areas that cross over into the economic development and tourism portfolios because I think it is very clear that there are significant opportunities for Canberra.

The other issue that has been raised with me, and I think is a brilliant possibility, is through the Canberra brand and the “We are CBR” activation that will allow local businesses and local producers to very proudly display their connection to the Canberra region—the opportunity for that to be embraced throughout south-east New South Wales as well as the surrounding councils to adopt our city’s branding as part of their approach to regional tourism. That presents a further opportunity not only to promote the good work that is already occurring but to expand upon that and look at the region’s possibilities in terms of food production, which obviously encompasses a much greater land area but also, importantly, a diversity of opportunity for different products to emerge or to go to the next level.

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