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Our Food Future: Greens’ plan to secure future of regional Australia

In what is believed to be an Australian first, Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne will launch a key election platform online: the Greens' plan for Australia's food security.

The comprehensive plan includes seven fully costed initiatives totalling over $600 million in commitments over the next four years.

The package will be released online in a video conference with farmers, suppliers and stakeholders across the country.

Our Food Future features a massive $300 million boost for agricultural research and development and other measures designed to keep farmers on the land, put good food on every table and protect land and water.

"From farmers markets to café culture to cooking shows, Australians love our food. We're lucky to have access to an abundant and diverse supply of fresh food, and our farmers are renowned for their resilience and innovation," said Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne.

"But too many of our farmers are struggling to make a living, we're losing precious agricultural land to mining, and we're not prepared for the impacts of climate change.

"Our Food Future is a roadmap for making Australia's food system healthy, prosperous, fair and sustainable.

"We will give our farmers a fair price and help them stay on the land, because we can't give every Australian healthy food without them.

"It's time to think about where and how our food is produced, what we eat, and choose a better way."

The Our Food Future roadmap to secure regional Australia seeks to refocus government priorities including:

• Increasing Commonwealth funding for agricultural research and development by 7% per year;
• Funding a national network of 180 agricultural extension officers;
• Providing grants to rebuild local food systems connecting communities to their farmers;
• Lowering on-farm costs by funding the switch to renewable energy and greater energy efficiency;
• Establishing an independent National Biosecurity Authority and Biosecurity Commission;
• Running a national food waste reduction campaign, increase funding for food emergency relief; and provide funding for research into financial mechanisms to avert avoidable post-harvest waste; and
• Funding up to 800 new school kitchen garden projects and increase funds for adult nutrition education programs.

Senator Milne said she decided to launch the policy online to give people, particularly those from rural and regional areas, an opportunity to hear from the Greens and ask questions about the policy.

"There are lots of different stakeholders involved in the entire system who want to engage with us on policy development and implementation," she said.

"The idea also came out of recognition that contrary to some perceptions, rural and regional Australia is very active online.

"I have a passion for this policy area and I've been inspired by how new media can bring parliamentarians closer to communities, particularly those in remote areas."

Below is a copy of the plan. The launch can be viewed at greens.org.au/food and it will begin at 7pm.

Attached Files
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