Pioneer of environmental activism, Jack Mundey addressing the packed Caroona Hall.
The second biennial “Taste of the Liverpool Plains” event at the Caroona Hall on Sunday was a resounding success. The community driven event showcased local produce, food, wine and fashion, with a focus on sustainability.
Up to 3,000 attendees converged on the Liverpool Plains for the regionally significant ‘foodie’ event. They came from throughout Northern Inland NSW and beyond. There was a plethora of passionate producers, proudly offering test-tastes, with an abundance of locals and visitors hungry to savour the flavours of the Liverpool Plains. There were grains, gourmet meats, through to olives, garlic, condiments from relish to hommus, jams, wine, lavender, cheese, pasta, berries, cotton products, honey, plants, cakes and more.
The Caroona Hall was packed for the sustainability presentations, as the primary producers heard how their renewable industries could be even greener.
President of the organising committee, Carol Mackerras said that the success of the “Taste of the Liverpool Plains” was due to the support from the local community. “We highlighted the range and quality of the produce of the local area and how the agricultural (food) production in the area constitutes an important and renewable industry. Our farmers are sustainable but they are also innovative and proactively looking to improve environmental and financial outcomes. So there was strong interest in the sustainability product displays and guest speakers,” she said.
There was political support for the event. “This is an incredibly productive agricultural area. I wasn’t surprised by the huge turn-up. The people here are passionate about what their district is producing and the potential impact of coal-seam gas and mining on the sustainability and productivity of the Liverpool Plains. They are keen to understand the science involved,” Member for New England, Tony Windsor said.
Regional Development Australia Northern Inland Food and Wine Project Officer, Kim-Trieste Hastings said that there are many economic and social benefits when food and wine producers come together on a regional level, promoting their produce and the district in general. “With support from Industry and Investment NSW, RDANI has worked to encourage such regional approaches,” she said.
The headline sustainability speaker was Jack Mundey. In the 1970s, he led the Builders' Labourers Federation as the figurehead of the 'Green Bans', whose industrial actions fought to protect the natural and built environment of Sydney from excessive and inappropriate development. Developments worth up to $3Billion were ‘green-banned’. Mr. Mundey said it was appropriate to highlight the local produce. “This area is an important food bowl and that needs to be promoted,” he said.
Other guest speakers and their topics were: Associate Professor Julian Cribb (Author of “The Coming Famine”, looking at global food security issues); Professor Paul Martin (Director of the Australian Centre for Agriculture and Law at UNE, How legislation can protect agricultural land); Meredith Kirton (Grow, Harvest, Cook); Tim Wright (previous Farmer of the Year winner, on Carbon sequestration and sustainable energies); Adam Blakester (Social Change Strategist, Community planning entrepreneur); Matthew Wright (Young Environmentalist of the Year 2010 and Executive Director of Beyond Zero Emissions, how Australia can reach 100% renewable energy within a decade using technology that is commercially available right now; and Deborah Tabart OAM (Executive Director Australian Koala Foundation).
Entertainment was provided by singer, Luke Stoker. Formerly of Tamworth, Mr. Stoker is now with Queensland Opera. There was also cooking demonstrations, gardening tips, children’s activities, a fashion show, photography, sculpture, jewellery and renewable energy products.
For further information please contact: Regional Development Australia Northern Inland Executive Officer, Nathan Axelsson: 02 6771 2790 or…Project Officer, Kim-Trieste Hastings: 0427 008 572
For further details on “Taste of the Liverpool Plains” contact: Prue Lee: 6747 4674 - 0429 990 388 or Sue Wilmott: 6747 4057
Liverpool Plains locals, George Masters (Mt. Tamarang) and Rita Dugan (“Williewarina” Chick Peas, Caroona), with Member for New England, Tony Windsor.
Ros and Ray Neilsen with their jams and condiments from Beaumont Currabubula Apricots.
Peter Slade from Quirindi and Phil Harlock from Tamworth discussed bio diesel.
President of the ‘Taste of the Liverpool Plains’ organising committee, Carol Mackerras, Lyn Windsor (who celebrated her birthday at the event) and Regional Development Australia Northern Inland Food and Wine Project Officer, Kim-Trieste Hastings.
Robin Simson from “The Plantation” (Premer) with James Adams and Maddy Speirs from Carthian Hill Garlic (Mullaley).
Tamworth wine producers, John Almond and Aaron Arnull-Almond from Melville Hill Estate, poured a taste for Allan Jeffkins of Willow Tree.
Seven-year-old Caroona local, Patrick Blomfield sunk his teeth into Tamworth’s Pani Dolci artisan bakery products.
Among the many local volunteers were Ken Cudmore and Lisa Norman (on kitchen duty for Liz Brownhill).
Janet Fearby of Gunnedah, looking sweet with Nigel Lawson of Lawson’s Honey, Quirindi.