Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 December 2016) . . Page.. 207 ..
cognitive skills providing a strong foundation for later learning in primary, secondary and tertiary education. This, in turn, makes people more employable and better equipped to deal with the advanced workforce of the 21st century.
Attaining gender equality is also one of the sustainable development goals. Expanding access to early childhood education is also a critical factor in improving workplace productivity in our economy. By giving families the freedom to re-enter the workforce earlier than they could have on their own, we can tackle the task of achieving full employment and, importantly, achieve greater gender parity and workforce participation, as it is disproportionately women who leave paid work to raise children during their early years.
I am pleased to see the very important work that Global Goals Australia has been doing on the implementation of the sustainable development goals and I look forward to seeing the final report delivered to the ACT government and members of this Legislative Assembly in the future.
MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (6.12): I rise to talk about Terra Madre, which is Slow Food’s annual day to celebrate local eating, sustainable food production and agricultural biodiversity. It has been held on 10 December every year since 2009. Slow Food is a global, grassroots organisation working towards the goal that everyone in the world should have access to food which is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet. It was formed, I think, in Italy, given its name and my knowledge of it, in response to the concerns about the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions. It now involves communities from 160 countries working together to build connections between people and the foods that they eat. Some of their initiatives include protecting food diversity by saving endangered foods, advocating for the rights of Indigenous people to grow food and fighting food waste.
We are lucky in Canberra to have a local group, the Canberra Capital and Country Convivium, a group of people who are passionate about local food in our Canberra region. We have got a very active local food movement here in Canberra, and it is most obviously manifest in the two big farmers markets. The Capital Region Farmers Market at EPIC has been held every Saturday for over 12 years. I used to go there every week when I used to live on the north side. Of course, on the south side, there is the Canberra farmers market which is not quite as old—only 10 years old—and it has just moved into the Canberra College. It is a great new site, and I really enjoy going to visit there.
Recently, of course, there has been a resurgence of interest in growing your own food, community gardens and the value of sourcing seasonal produce direct from local farmers. I am really pleased that one of the things the ACT government has supported is community gardens. I know there is a huge unmet demand for them.
I would also like to make a quick mention of some of the other Canberra groups which are part of our local food movement contributing to part of the global movement: See Change shares skills for more sustainable living, and I used to be on