The Weekly Advertiser

EDITORIAL | Tapping into our resources

Dean Lawson Editorial Nov 2017
It is far from a secret that modern Australia has barely scratched the surface in understanding the potential of our country’s natural assets.
While we have long exploited obvious resources such as minerals, climate, global positioning and a sheer expanse of land, we are probably guilty of overlooking other obvious opportunities.
If opportunity is based on human desire to thrive, based on a foundation of being able to survive, we need only consider why humans have been able to do both, from a contextual point of view, in Australia for tens of thousands of years.
The State Government is providing $30,000 to help Warrnambool-based WG Enterprises, the Worn Gundidj Aboriginal Cooperative that provides economic opportunities for the Aboriginal community, to explore and expand its bush-food project.
The grant is designed to allow WG Enterprises to start supply-chain mapping and field and kitchen trials.
It will hopefully help the co-operative identify opportunities for producers, processors, distributors and retailers.
This has obvious and considerable merit in supporting a regional boutique enterprise and healthy cultural-driven project. Critically, the acknowledgment also opens a window to a big-picture opportunity that might lead to mainstream production of a new cache of unique agricultural products. Australia has an international reputation as a food producer and Victoria is in the vanguard.
Yet while contemporary culture in northern Australia seems to have tapped into native food production, our state, perhaps content with international export staples, might have been wearing blinkers. Of course there are many complexities in breaking ground with new products, especially in food, but ‘bush tucker’ cropping is an area that warrants much larger exploration.
At the moment, the government investment represents only token acknowledgment and there are many ‘mights’ in this concept.
We have considerable world-leading agricultural research and development assets already in place in western Victoria, especially the Wimmera.
Why not use and expand them, as part of this exploration project, to include the food that has kept people alive in what we’re constantly told is one of harshest environments on the planet?

The entire January 23, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Jan 23 2019

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