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Councils urged to take lead on food

Some of the working group.

Local councils are being urged to act to ensure residents across the North East have access to healthy food.

The North East Victoria Food Policy working group, formed in August 2015, has released a discussion paper calling on councils to work together on developing healthy food policies and strategies.

The paper argues that in North East Victoria, a wide range of fresh produce is grown locally and a variety of nutritious and culturally appropriate food is generally available.

Despite this, there are significant challenges affecting the health and wellbeing of the community including:

  • Increasing numbers of people accessing emergency food relief;
  • High and increasing rates of overweight and obesity; and,
  • Pressures on agricultural production such as reduced profitability, climate variability, shifting demographics and regulation.

The paper suggests local government in the Alpine, Indigo, Wangaratta, Wodonga and Towong regions are well placed to take action on these issues.

The working group, comprising health representatives from the Wodonga, Indigo, Alpine and Upper Murray regions, as well as North East Catchment Management Authority, Beechworth Urban Landcare and Wodonga Council, presented the paper to local councils on Tuesday, June 28.

The group comprises of:

  • Amber Croft - North East Catchment Management Authority
  • Anna Mackinlay - Beechworth Health Service
  • Barb Young - Gateway Health
  • Charlie Showers - Beechworth Urban Landcare and Sustainability Group
  • Daris Olsauskas - Beechworth Urban Landcare and Sustainability Group
  • Joanne Crooks - Indigo North Health
  • Katie Murray - Alpine Health
  • Megan Hunt - Gateway Health
  • Natalie Willis - Wodonga Council
  • Peter Kenyon - Northeast Health Wangaratta

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Last updated: 05-07-2016

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