City Farm Community Information Session

(10.30am 28 July 2012, Sydney Park St Peters)

Thank you, and welcome, everyone. I'd like firstly to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nationalities who live in our City.

I also want to welcome Angus Stewart, who you will know from the ABC's Gardening Australia program, and also Andrew Ridge, who is our project manager for the City Farm, members of our Advisory Group.

This group has four community members, as well as two City of Sydney staff and two representatives from the Powerhouse Museum.

I also welcome any members of the Sydney City Farm Association who approached Council with the idea for a city farm in Sydney - one of the few Australian cities without a city farm.

We've drafted a memorandum of understanding with the Powerhouse for the development of the City Farm and today we're giving you an update on progress and we also want to hear your thoughts and ideas for the farm.

To give you a foretaste of how it could be, we've got a mini-farm here today, with baby animals for the children, and fresh herbs and vegetables available.

We're looking to have a summer farm starting in the spring and summer months.
This will include a range of farm plantings and educational programs we're developing with the Powerhouse to run here in Sydney Park.

Eventually, we envisage the farm growing fresh fruit and vegetables, holding farmers' markets and perhaps keeping small animals. It will be a terrific learning place, especially in teaching children about food sources and introducing them to the enjoyment of picking fresh vegetables for dinner.

We know there is keen support for the idea - 95 per cent of the people who made submissions during our feasibility study said they wanted a city farm.

It will use just a small part of Sydney Park and won't interfere with people's other activities such as jogging, picnics, bike riding and dog walking.

By 2030, we're expecting almost 140,000 new homes and an extra 80,000 people living in inner Sydney.

The farm will be the hub of a unique place where families can gather, exercise, walk their dogs, grow their own food and make new friends.

We're looking forward to seeing it take shape. Thank you all for coming to celebrate this milestone with us, and to share your ideas with us. We are keen to hear them.

Thank you, and have a great day.