The role the Hawkesbury agricultural and research sector plays in food security will be under the spotlight in a new national inquiry into Australia’s food security. The House Standing Committee on Agriculture inquiry is inviting submissions until the 9th of December, looking at issues around the production, consumption, and export of food. Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman says food producers in the Hawkesbury should take advantage of the inquiry and have their voices heard.
“The Hawkesbury is the heart of NSW’s peri-urban farming. We have a rich tradition in food production and land management, but we know there are threats to our production, including from housing development, natural disasters, ageing farmers and changing climate conditions. And we know there are opportunities, particularly with the research and innovation being done at the Richmond campus of Western Sydney University.
The Minister for Agriculture, Murray Watt, who has met with vegetable growers in our region, has requested this inquiry. The Parliament wants to hear from farmers and people involved in food production about the threats and the opportunities, and I can’t think of a community that is better placed to share their experiences and ideas than ours.
Our growers – including orchards, vegetables, cattle, chicken, duck and pig farmers – have a wealth of knowledge that will assist in ensuring this inquiry is well informed about the challenges of peri-urban production. And we also have groups like Hawkesbury Harvest that work with local agriculture to improve the economic sustainability, advocate to protect their members and customers from unintended consequences of government policy, and ensure consumers have the best access to highly nutritious, locally grown food.
I would encourage all these groups and individuals to make a submission, so the Hawkesbury has their voice heard. It’s as simple as clicking a link and having your say. We’re already backing the innovation that occurs in the Hawkesbury to produce high quality food with efficient inputs at Western Sydney University with a $16 million investment in the WSU Agri Tech Hub.
The Agri Tech Hub will bring the next generation of agriculture skills, training and jobs to the heart of this growing region. Not only will this investment create 1,380 jobs during construction, but it will also create up to 240 ongoing jobs and drive continued innovation and growth in Australian agriculture. It’s an exciting expansion of a leading-edge facility, which works collaboratively with business.
Food security is one of the most important issues facing Australia and by making a submission producers and those with a special expertise in this area can help lead the Albanese Government’s response.” said Susan Templeman MP
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