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Vote for Food – Scorecard

Vote for Food — scorecard of major party policies on food for the NSW election

The upcoming NSW election will be contested in the context of the substantial cost of living rises, extreme weather and continued pandemic recovery. Sustain, Food Fairness Illawarra, Professor Karen Charlton from the University of Wollongong, Australia’s Right to Food Coalition, Community Gardens Australia and Young Farmers Connect have released an analysis and scorecard of major parties’ policies on food systems, farming and sustainability for the upcoming election. 

Diet-related ill-health and mental illness cost Australia around $200 bn every year. Climate change costs are anticipated to grow, with extreme weather events alone costing the Australian economy $35 billion over the past decade. While Australia ranks as one of the most food-secure countries in the world at a macro level, at the community level vulnerable communities disproportionately experience barriers to access nutritionally adequate, safe, culturally appropriate and affordable food. Food insecurity is associated with poor mental and physical health with approximately 800,000 adults per year experiencing food insecurity nationally, a number that is expected to rise in 2023 and beyond. It also impacts on employment, and educational opportunity, particularly for children.

In November 2022 the NSW Legislative Council Committee on Environment and Planning published Food production and supply in NSW (Committee Report) containing eight findings and 36 recommendations to create a more resilient, sustainable and fair food system in NSW. The Committee Report was based on comprehensive research, investigation and interviews with witnesses representing agriculture, health and education, sustainability, academia and food security sectors and organisations, all with diverse expertise and experience regarding the food system in NSW.

In preparation for the NSW election, we asked the three major parties about policies in the following areas, which align with the key recommendations in the Committee Report:

  1. Commitment to NSW food system plan 
  2. Collaborative food system governance
  3. First Nations Peoples’ knowledge and skills
  4. Food security
  5. Food waste and rescue
  6. School edible gardens
  7. Urban and peri-urban agriculture and community gardens/farms
  8. Regenerative horticulture and agriculture
  9. Building skills and workforce.

Each of the major parties replied to us, see their responses at the links below.

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