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The Australian National Food Plan – Have Your Say!

National Food Plan, Green Paper
3.75mb PDF

The Australian federal government has issued a green paper on a National Food Plan for public consultation, which will include a series of public meetings in various places over the next several weeks, until September 30, 2012.

This is an excellent opportunity for permaculturists, localvores, agro-ecologists, etc., to get their message across and help ensure that it’s not just the big corporations who shape Australia’s food future (to their own disastrous ends).

Inset, at right, is the full Green Paper, and here is a summary. You’ll see that the focus is on dollars and exports, rather than sustainable peak-oil-generation resilience.

There are several ways you can give input on this topic. Find our more here, and register for a meeting near you here.

Please share this page, and encourage as many lucid souls as you can to get involved and breathe some sanity into Australia’s food future.


  1. I see they want to discuss their intention to develop a policy on GMOs. That should be interesting. I’ve signed up for the session at the Mercure Hotel Brisbane in August.

  2. Soil and other sustainability issues start on page 202. Please read.

    We’re radicals. After 30+ years, Permaculture’s concerns and solutions are still considered radical. This is a mainstream document, created by a large, publicly elected and corporately influenced government. What do we expect?

    In some ways we don’t have anything to complain about. The word “sustainable” is throughout, and even “improving the natural resource base” shows up in lots of bullet lists. Food security, and the “natural resource base” both get their own sections.

    I’ll still submit a comment regarding how sustainability issues should be on page 1 rather than page 202, but I’m pretty sure I’m wasting my time. Nothing we do at the keyboard is really valuable at this stage.

  3. Yes, I couldn’t see anything to really get worked up about either. It is a dry, boring document. Probably intentionally so. It contains all the right sort of phrases and platitudes to not arouse the radicals too much. It also pretty clearly outlines what they are prepared to do and what they won’t under any circumstances do, no matter what objections and arguments the obligatory consultation process throws up.

    So… ho hum… back to the garden. Let others worry about it.

    As sure as eggs are eggs, whatever plans government makes that are based on a capitalist growth paradigm, on the global stage, geared towards export markets, with resultant foreign imports, it is all going to fall in a heap sooner or later. “And what will cock robin do then, poor thing?”

    Better to be prepared as best you can to feed yourself and to show other folk how they can do it also, if and when they wake up to the realisation that it will become a necessity for them and that they can’t depend on their government to take care of them.

  4. When I was a child Recycling was something done by hippies.
    Then it became common.
    Also anyone with environmental concerns where hippies and loonies. Now most people are concerned to a greater or lesser degree. I think for things to change the message has to be delivered often at any opportunity and to anyone who will listen. There was a time when free range eggs and organic products were hard to come by but public demand is now making these products easier to come by. As consumers and members of the public we should at least try to get the message to industry that we the public do care about the origins and manufacture of the food we eat.

  5. Interesting that estimated cases of serious food poisoning and gastro illness every year equate to about one quarter of the Australian Population. Only about one in 1000 cases are officially reported and investigated by government. Many people must be getting seriously sick multiple times over with vomiting and spending overtime on the toilet sometimes for days on end. They all felt like they were going to die and some do. Some need to be hospitalised and some never fully recover – medical condition or a disability results.

    Many cases would have poisoned themselves by not washing their hands but many people are poisoned by the unsafe food handling of others preparing food at home or in the food industry.

    The corporations are getting good at quickly exchanging items and offering money back but they are not good at investigation of their own complaints. There needs to be an expanded electronic independant reporting and investigation process to protect the public or the corporations with keep on treating their staff and the consumers like animals.

    There are massive improvements needed to improve food safety and collect information but not just to kick the small operators (who traditionally do everything they can to protect customers most of the time because they know their business depends on it).

    With new superbugs and complex potential contamination sources developing, the investigation and timely response is critical.
    I hope this report helps deliver food safety at all levels and go beyond food safety to sustainability and consumer health.

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