Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — I attended the grand opening of the Armadale Baptist Church community garden. The garden was formed through a partnership between Stonnington City Council, the Armadale Baptist Church and members of the local community, with financial assistance from Baptcare.
The team has transformed unused land on the church grounds into a thriving community garden. To say there is demand for community gardens in Prahran is an understatement. During the recent Spring into Gardening event at Victoria Gardens, my stall included a vision board for the Prahran electorate, where residents could share their ideas for Prahran. Community gardens ranked highly as something residents want for our electorate.
During my time as a councillor with the City of Stonnington I was able to secure funding, with the support of all my fellow councillors, for a sustainable outreach program. From there a partnership with Armadale Baptist Church was able to be formed, and members of the wider community got on board. The Stonnington area has the second-lowest amount of open space in Melbourne. That is why innovative approaches such as partnerships with other groups in the community are essential to establishing more community gardens in Prahran.
Community gardens bring people together, form connections and enable people to grow their own food in a sustainable way. They also help address the critical issue of diverting food from the waste stream. Food makes up around 50 per cent of household waste and is a major contributor to carbon emissions. By giving people, particularly those who live in apartments, a place to compost their food waste, community gardens play a key role in reducing waste and enhancing local food production.
I want to congratulate and thank all who were involved in setting up the community garden and wish them well as they continue to engage with the wider local community and to grow food.