Food bowl of a nation

FORMER Tweed mayor Joan van Lieshout thinks Tweed Shire Council should scrap its 100-acre subdivision limit.

The suggestion was part of Cr van Lieshout's proposal to allow subdividing agricultural properties for niche market agriculture.

Cr van Lieshout said the shire could become the “food bowl of the nation” by transforming the area into small plots for families to sustainably grow their own food.

“I believe this area could feed the nation, we want to encourage people to move here and become self-sustainable with the potential for future exports,” she said.

Cr van Lieshout has been championing her vision to council and her idea is now undergoing a feasibility report on the Northern Rivers' future capability to support growth in the food growing industry.

The councillor said she does not want the Tweed Shire to become like the Gold Coast's urban sprawl but believes the area has the potential to attract small crop farmers and co-ops on 30-acre blocks.

“Subdividing down must be responsible and based on viable businesses, each on its own merits,” Cr van Lieshout said.

The food bowl vision is an extension of the Northern Rivers Food Links Project which aims to protect communities against the future implications of climate change by supporting suburban food growth, encouraging people to buy local produce and reducing food miles.

Cudgen farmers said they believe the idea is not viable and other Tweed Shire councillors have not been quick to voice their support either but Ms van Lieshout said she believes in this vision.



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