Page 3364 - Week 09 - Thursday, 24 August 2017

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MR RATTENBURY: The ACT government recently announced a new program of $40,000 in grants for community gardens. I was very pleased to go with Minister Gentleman to Belconnen recently, during the Belconnen pop-up cabinet, to visit the Canberra City Care centre in Charnwood. They were one of the recipients in the last round of grants. They have put an excellent community garden out the back of their facility, which they then use to supply the community pantry that they support, for the community in the Charnwood and west Belconnen areas.

The new round of grants is, as I said, $40,000 with a maximum of $10,000 per grant. One of the new features of this program is that it has been made available to bodies corporate. It is still available to community groups, community organisations, neighbourhoods and the like, but I think that with the increasing number of people living in body corporate situations in the territory, and the very idea of a community garden being one of community building, of people working together to have a spot to grow produce, and because people in bodies corporate generally do not have their own open space, the opportunity for people to work together in bodies corporate is a very good one. That is why I am pleased to extend the grants round to those groups on this occasion.

MS ORR: Minister, how can community groups such as the Belconnen and Gungahlin community councils in my electorate of Yerrabi apply for these grants?

MR RATTENBURY: The grants round is open until 8 September; so there is still time for the groups that Ms Orr has described and for any other groups that want to get in. They can simply go to the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development website. The application form is there. It is not designed to be very onerous but there are certain requirements that people are expected to go through.

I think it is a wonderful opportunity for organisations to develop or to enhance community gardens and community spirit by people working together but also to produce fresh produce and to share the knowledge of growing. I think that is for me one of the very enjoyable parts of watching these community gardens unfold. It is people coming together, sharing their knowledge, sharing their expertise and ultimately sharing the harvest.

MS CHEYNE: Minister, can you provide an example of a community garden project in my electorate of Ginninderra and the benefits that it has provided for local residents?

MR RATTENBURY: Yes, I can think of two in Charnwood. The day we went out to the cabinet meeting Minister Gentleman and I went to separate community gardens in Charnwood. There are actually two there. The one I referred to at Canberra City Care is a great example. They received a grant of $3,572. What they have done out there is to put together a number of elements of the garden: they have got the composting heap of course, they have got fruit trees and then they have got the more seasonal fruit and vegetables growing.

What is very nice about that is that a community member has volunteered; someone with some expertise is the garden leader, for want of a better description. He is

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