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Growing our Agriculture sector

Tasks

Regenerative Agriculture and its potential for enhancing climate resilience

The City of Whittlesea has partnered with Deakin University to undertake a project that considers the concept of regenerative agriculture and the potential of it to support transformative change of peri-urban agriculture for greater climate resilience of the cities and regional centres it surrounds.

The project will involve the identification of key characteristics of regenerative agriculture enterprises in Victoria, describe the size of the sector in both area and economic return across the state and objectively assess the potential of regenerative agriculture for building climate resilience and mitigation through soil carbon sequestration

The City of Whittlesea will be using the outcomes from this project to drive change and reinvigorate agriculture in the municipality after many years of urban development, drought, bushfire and other pressures degrading the sector.

 

Whittlesea Food and Farm Collective

The City of Whittlesea have partnered with Melbourne Polytechnic, Whittlesea Community Connections and Yarra Valley Water, to develop a mixed farming enterprise which will provide food for distribution into the local emergency relief network and volunteering, education and employment opportunities in best practice sustainable agriculture systems for peri-urban areas.

Our vision for the project is to create a vibrant food hub that provides a place for the community to connect, learn and prosper.

The Whittlesea Community Food and Farm Collective is an integrated model that combines local food and farming, food distribution, sustainable resource use, agricultural education and capability building. Once operational, the collective will:

  • Provide pathways from hardship to opportunity and employment.
  • Improve health and wellbeing through access to nutrition and community engagement
  • Demonstrate leading practice in circular economy and sustainable peri-urban agriculture
  • Attract inclusive investment to the agribusiness sector and local business in the region
  • Be the leading education and training facility for the food and fibre industry in Melbourne
  • Protect and restore ecological, cultural and natural heritage

This project has successfully received a $1.5million in funding. The funding is part of a $48.4 million investment in shovel-ready water projects under the State Government’s new $2.7 billion Building Works program.

 

Share Farming / Leasing of Farmland in our Green Wedge Zones

The City of Whittlesea will be embarking on an investigation into the potential of a platform which will link landowners with land seekers and assess the suitability of share farming and leasing of the land. This will assist the future farmers of our municipality in overcoming the barriers of access to and affordability of land. An increase in food production will also benefit our non-farming residents through increased access to fresh local produce and potential employment and business opportunities.

 

Advocating for agriculture

Over the past two years, the Victorian State Government has been conducting a review on planning for Melbourne’s green wedges and agricultural land. This review was prompted by increasing land use conflicts in the green wedge and peri-urban areas due to their proximity to Melbourne and the rapid pace of growth and change.

We have been actively involved in advocating for robust planning controls that will allow for the ongoing protection of our green wedge land to encourage the production of local food and biodiversity conservation.

The first round of consultation was held in 2019 which received engagement from over 800 participants.

An options paper has been produced and will be open for consultation from mid-August 2020.

 

For more information about our projects or to arrange an on-site visit, contact our Agribusiness Officer on 9217 2081 or at agribusiness@whittlesea.vic.gov.au.

 

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