Melbourne penalizes city folk who grow veggies on vacant land

By Christopher Bantick
Weekly Times

First it was sea-changers then tree-changers that moved into country communities looking for rural bliss. The next migration may be vegie-changers.

This is a likely scenario if Melbourne councils continue to whack sky-high rates on vacant land used for vegetable gardens.

The latest Melbourne council to penalise – yes penalise – people growing fruit trees and vegetables on their own unbuilt land is Darebin.

Why?

Well, what use is it having a vacant block when it could be used for housing?

It’s a punitive strategy.

According to Darebin City Council chief financial officer Kerrie Jordan, upping council rates on vacant land comes with a clear intention.

Rates on vacant land in Darebin are three times the levy on residential property.

They are, wait for it, $2519 if you grow a few spuds on your own empty land!

“We want to encourage land owners to develop vacant land to increase the supply of housing and to enhance the city’s vitality,” Ms Jordan says.

There is zero regard for a green environment here and it seems that “vitality” is equated with living cheek-by-jowl in concrete suburbia.

Clearly Darebin City Council has not heard of food sovereignty presented at the 1996 Food and Agriculture Organisation world-food summit in Rome.

It is defined as “the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through sustainable methods.”

Unlike the UK, Melbourne does not have an allotment culture.

Because UK house blocks are smaller, local councils lease small allotments of council land to ratepayers to grow vegetables.

They are sought after and waiting lists are long.

Melbourne has historically not had to do this as there was ample space on the standard quarter-acre block. But as people on big blocks invest in dual occupancy, gardens are shrinking.

There is a Chinese proverb that makes more than a little sense.

If you want to be happy for a week, take a wife: if you would be happy for a month, kill a pig: if you would be happy for ever, plant a garden.

There are clear health reasons for growing your own food.

Read more at Weekly Times

6 responses to “Melbourne penalizes city folk who grow veggies on vacant land

  1. Pingback: Read here for current ‘Doom & Gloom’, and Injustices. | The GOLDEN RULE

  2. “We want to encourage land owners to develop vacant land to increase the supply of housing and to enhance the city’s vitality,” Ms Jordan says.

    That, of course, contradicts itself. If “increasing the supply of housing” were economically viable, they wouldn’t need bizarre penalties to “encourage” it. This is a typical example of bunker-hunkering in the face of what’s obviously the end of the old “growth” paradigm. Instead of seeking constructive solutions, new paths, they’d rather go down as destructively and self-destructively as possible. Melbourne wants to plumb the lowest depths of decay before doing what e.g. Detroit’s been doing.

  3. yeah, smart isnt it?
    at the very same time theyre stopping farmers using already cleared and farmed land for bloody Kyoto fantasies..and forcing near expanding urban areas market gardeners, to sell and go.

  4. In the other side of the world, one of biggest cities of Argentina, Rosario is prized because promoting Urban Agriculture and use of public spaces for producing organic vegetables http://goo.gl/q1wRv
    *Please use a translator because the info is in Spanish*

  5. Hey every one we are new to blogging and we just posted a request for people to share something anything maybe about there plans for the weekend ora good link or to promote something. IF you can help us get some activity we would be very grateful. You can find the post here http://organicallythought.com/3-day-weekend-hear all spam protection is turned off so go ahead and leave as many links as you like lol

  6. Pingback: Melbourne penalizes city folk who grow veggies on vacant land | Set You Free News

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