This week, the federal government announced that the promised funding of $1.5million to support people scale food initiatives across Australia would be scraped. Projects such as farmers markets, food co-operatives and hubs, community gardens and city farms that were counting on this funding would no longer be receiving it.
You can listen to a very passionate interview of Nick Rose here by ABC Rural.
This is terrible news and there are no doubt countless sad stories that will emerge in the coming weeks. The cynic in me is not surprised that our current government has changed the direction of the the support they are willing to offer – its not like this is the first time its happened. But then the eternal optimist in me (which luckily is the bigger more dominant side) points out that yes it has happened before, and look what stepped up in its place.
In a few years time the Queensland Literary Awards will just be the very prestigious, sort after, valued literary prize as it always was. But need I remind you it used to be called the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards. A few weeks after Campbell Newman (Liberal) came to power he axed the funding for this prize .. all of $244 000 as he wanted to be remembered for buses, not books. A measly amount of money that was so valuable to the broader community was scrapped due to the ‘tight fiscal environment’.
Sure the government was anticipating to piss off a few literary types – but lets be honest, its not that hard as some people more than others don’t mind a bit of a moan. But what the government under estimated was the community value of these awards and the ability those literary types were to mobilise themselves, and take over the awards themselves – it must have something to do with reading.
The awards are now funded by private donors and industry support. No government funding. These are now awards that truly reflect the literary world it celebrates and empowers those who aspire to write.
So back to the world of human scale food …. what do you think? do we have it in us?