Foodies gather to grow the Bur­nett

Central and North Burnett Times - - LOCAL NEWS - ❏ Ge­orge Smith

MONTO res­i­dents have ex­changed ideas about food se­cu­rity in the re­gion.

The Lo­cal Fresh Foodies Din­ner at the Mulgildie Ho­tel had 25 at­ten­dees.

Vice-pres­i­dent of Grow­ing the Bur­nett, Ross An­der­son, said the is­sue of food se­cu­rity was high­lighted in the 2011 floods when roads were cut.

“The North Bur­nett pro­duces a lot of food which is ex­ported to Bris­bane then im­ported back to the re­gion,” he said.

“This shows the food miles in­volved in bring­ing pro­duce to con­sumers.

“On the Sun­shine Coast, for ex­am­ple, fresh food sales are

‘Lo­cal farm­ers’ mar­kets are good, but the stall fees can be dis­cour­ag­ing to those want­ing to dis­play their pro­duce.’

worth $900 mil­lion an­nu­ally which is greater than tourism rev­enue.

“They are push­ing to pro­duce more of their own food to keep more of that money in their econ­omy.”

Lo­cal farmer David Schulz grows his own veg­eta­bles as an in­tense hobby.

But he said look­ing af­ter farm­ers was his main job.

Mr Schulz said the meet­ing was a good start in get­ting peo­ple to bring for­ward their ideas.

How­ever get­ting a fair deal for pro­duc­ers was the main prob­lem.

“Get­ting pump­kins to Bris­bane is easy but you need vol­ume to make a profit,” Mr Schulz said.

“Lo­cal farm­ers’ mar­kets are good, but the stall fees can be dis­cour­ag­ing to those want­ing to dis­play their pro­duce.”

North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil­lor Paul Lobegeier said agri­cul­ture would re­main the back­bone of the re­gion de­spite min­ing mak­ing an ap­pear­ance.

He said the coun­cil was open to sug­ges­tions to com­bat the prob­lems fac­ing food pro­duc­ers.

“We need to mo­ti­vate our- selves, not feel sorry for our­selves,” Cr Lobegeier said.

The din­ner was con­vened by theNorth Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil, North Bur­nett Fu­tures and Grow­ing the Bur­nett.

Photo: Ge­orge Smith

FOOD AWAITS: Fred Jarvis gath­ers his thoughts be­fore the Lo­cal Fresh Foodies Din­ner at the Mulgildie Ho­tel.

Tr­isha Hansen, Carly Burn­ham, (front) Lily and Ruby Burn­ham join the group at the Mulgildie Ho­tel.

Tameka Gogerly and Ross An­der­son wait to con­trib­ute at the Lo­cal Fresh Foodies Din­ner at the Mulgildie Ho­tel.

Col O'Sul­li­van and Simon Wil­liams ex­change opin­ions at the Mulgildie Ho­tel.

David and Jenny Beb­bing­ton take a break from talk­ing food at the Mulgildie Ho­tel.

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