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ACT Urban Sustainable Food Proposal

9 October 2020

The proposal is the result of five months of in-depth consultation and research both in the ACT, the region and nationally.  We acknowledge the wise counsel among others of Kate Auty, the former ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment, UNSW Canberra, Canberra City Farm, Capital Region Farmers markets and the Conservation Council ACT Region.

The impact of pandemic and catastrophic climate change events is clearly demonstrating how fragile our food supply chains are.  The FAO, among other organisations, is recommeding cities start building reliable local food buffers. Done well, a stronger local food system can also provide many new jobs and income.

The Proposal's core premise is that in urban food, sustainability, good business and social impact can operate in a productive harmony. The timing is now right for a concerted systematic approach to building local food production.  Food is the forgotten part of the Water*RE*Food* Soil nexus necessary for creating a truly sustainable City.  It is a major emissions source which ideally should be constrained to help achieve our 2045 target.  Done well, sustainable food is not only good for business, tourism, exports and jobs but will directly address the ACTs liveability, human health and inclusion policy objectives.

Taking advantage of its natural and built advantages, the ACT has an unprecedented opportunity to be Australia’s leading Urban Food City and to ride a technological and design-based wave starting to sweep other major international cities.  This is seeing City Urban food strategies developed to accommodate community-based farming, food business incubation through to striking vertical farms, high-tech green houses, aquaculture, food waste and biogas integration.

Like other formative hubs around Australia, its needs initial government support and recognition in the same way the Renewable Energy has over the last five years through the SERREE initiative which was run by RDA ACT for the ACT Government. 

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