Grow It Local to reduce food bill and waste

Published Friday, 17 November, 2023 at 01:15 PM

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
The Honourable Leanne Linard

  • Grassroots organisation Grow It Local is on a mission to get more people growing and sharing locally-grown foods to reduce food waste to landfill, encourage sustainable living practices, save money and build healthier communities.
  • The Palaszczuk Government has provided $150,000 in funding over three years to support Grow It Local to partner with Councils and roll-out the program statewide.
  • To celebrate the partnership, the Queensland Parliament has become ParliMINT, with four different varieties of mint planted in the facility’s small edible garden.

The Palaszczuk Government is partnering with Grow It Local to help Queensland communities connect through local food production while increasing their knowledge of growing for their climate and the need to work to reduce food waste.

The government will invest $150,000 over the next three years to support the roll-out of the national Grow It Local initiative in Queensland.

Environment Minister Leanne Linard was joined by the Speaker of the Queensland Parliament, Curtis Pitt, and River Cottage Australia star and Grow It Local co-founder, Paul West, to launch ParliMINT.

Four varieties of mint have been planted in the Parliament’s small edible garden to demonstrate how easy it is to grow your own food.

Everywhere is an opportunity to grow and eat fresh local food, from your windowsill to your backyard or local community garden.

There are already 5,739 local growers registered with Grow It Local across Queensland who have 413,793 square metres under cultivation and are diverting 11,914 kilograms of food waste from landfill each week from their home composting activities.  

Quotes attributable to Environment Minister, Leanne Linard:

“Grow It Local aims to encourage the community to think holistically about food and waste and the role each of us can each play to live more sustainably.

“The Palaszczuk Government supports this initiative as it dovetails with our priorities in reducing food waste and having local communities working together to help offset the impacts of climate change.

“More than three million tonnes of food is sent to landfill in Queensland each year, even though there is an increasing number of Queenslanders experiencing food insecurity. It is estimated that households spend between $2,000 to $2,500 per year on food that is ultimately wasted.

“Critically this is also about teaching children practical skills that will empower them to grow, cook and compost their own food at home, which I think is an invaluable investment in our future.”

Quotes attributable to chef, River Cottage Australia star and Grow It Local co-founder, Paul West:

“Grow It Local is about encouraging people to grow their own food, no matter how much or how little space and time they have.

“It’s something everyone can do – whether you’ve got a suburban backyard or just a windowsill in the kitchen.

“Gardening, and all the physical and mental health benefits that come with it, is accessible to everyone, even if you start with just one plant.

“Growing your own food is addictive, once you start, there’s no going back!”

Quotes attributable to Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Curtis Pitt:

“Many people who drive or walk past Parliament House in the Brisbane central business district would be surprised to know that we have a small, edible garden, the produce of which is used by the chefs in our kitchen.

“The demonstrates that you can create an edible garden anywhere.

“In addition to growing our own herbs and spices, we also have an ‘Eggsembly’ of chooks who provide us with fresh eggs that staff and visitors at Parliament House get to enjoy after they come out of our kitchen.

“Our resident chooks the Cluck of the Assembly, Dorothy Dixer, Miss Hansard and Erskine Lay are very welcome residents and contributors at the Queensland Parliament.

“I hope that through Grow It Local, more Queenslanders will become inspired and establish their own garden, or work with their neighbours to create a community garden, and realise the many benefits such an endeavour creates.”

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Media contact: Scott Chandler – (07) 3719 7339