Building a Local Food Future Forum set to grow
Posted June 03, 2015
CATHY McGOWAN (Indi) (13:48): I rise today to say thank you to the organisers of the recent Building a Local Food Future Forum, which was held in Wodonga in early May. I was very pleased and honoured to open the event and welcomed almost 200 people from across the electorate to hear about and discuss important issues of food in our lives.
At the conference, we stressed that the purpose of most agricultural production is to create a food supply. We acknowledged its importance in earning export dollars and we talked about its primary purpose of producing food to feed us. The event in Wodonga explored these issues and discussed options to ensure all Australians can feel confident of being able to secure a healthy, equitable and just food supply. There were very many important speakers, including Dr Jane Roots of Chiltern, Matt Grogan, a lawyer-farmer who, with his wife, Tamsin, grows amazing food at Allans Flat, and Jade Miles, who with husband Charlie Showers has begun a food co-op in Beechworth. Well done.
There were three main outcomes from the conference—firstly, a clear focus for the local food network; secondly, work on a food policy being led by the Indigo Shire together with Wodonga and Wangaratta shires; and, thirdly, support for a regional hub, where people can distribute food locally. I would particularly like to congratulate and say thank you to Anna MacKinlay, Brydie Foran and Amber Croft for their work and the wonderful sponsorship of the North East Catchment Management Authority, Healthy Together Wodonga, and Beechworth and Indigo North health services. Well done. Congratulations, everybody. Please know I am on your side.