Despite Australia being one of the most food-secure countries in the world, recent local and global developments have revealed some weaknesses.
As a result, a number of parliamentary members have been involved in a year-long investigation into our supply chains, prices, food waste and biosecurity risks on produce.
The new report highlights the ramifications of local and global events like COVID-19, floods and the war in Ukraine driving up grain prices and the cost of energy and fuel.
Lower income households and communities in remote areas have been highlighted as being affected at a higher rate.
Local Federal MP Rebekha Sharkie has been part of the 12-month parliamentary inquiry, and proposes a National Food Plan to engage the whole food system, from paddock to plate, dealing with the production and distribution of food, supply chain resilience, access to food, good nutrition and the management and disposal of waste.
She says that the dairy industry is of particular concern.
“We’ve seen a huge decline over the years in raw milk production in our state, and we’ve seen a huge decline in the number of dairy farmers,” Sharkie said.
“Part of this report is saying, how do we turn this ship around? How can we encourage more people to go into agricultural careers, and make it attractive as an option for young people?”