Date & Time: 
Thursday 25 August 2016

A lucky land! Australians can feed on an enormous variety of foods grown in their own country. Our favorites such as bananas we can buy every day of the year. We can put a locally caught prawn on the barbie on each of those 365 days. And we have enough surplus food to feed two-and-a-half times our population.

Hear lead editor of the book 'AUSTRALIA’S ROLE IN FEEDING THE WORLD: The Future of Australian Agriculture', Emeritus Professor Tor Hundle, outline the book and share some yarns. This book seeks to bring a degree of realism to the much-touted assertion that Australia will become the “food bowl” of Asia. Some have gone as far as claiming we will feed the world! Some of us wish we could. Keep in mind that there will be another 2 billion more humans to be fed by 2050.

Undoubtedly, Australia with its clean-green image, will continue to be an important exporter of farmed products as global demand for food increases, but there are serious biophysical, economic, institutional and social constraints on our ability to produce a greatly increased quantity of food for export.

Issues dealt with in the book include:  Which overseas markets will dominate? What products will be in high demand? Who are our competitors? What if Australia’s population continues to grow and the surplus of income-earning food exports diminishes? Are the supreme optimists on the money with visions of opening up the north? What of the negative impacts of over-use of water and fertilisers?  What is the relationship between the health of the Great Barrier Reef and agriculture in its catchment? What can we do to reduce waste on the farm?  How do we meet changing food preferences? Who is afraid of GMOs? Who likes free-range eggs? Who has the Gold Medal for certified organic farmland and where is it?

Editors: Tor Hundloe, Sarah Blagrove and Hannah Ditton. CSIRO Publishing.


Tor is an Emeritus Professor at UQ. He was the inaugural Professor of Environmental Management at UQ, a position he held for 10 years before moving to Bond University as Professor of Environmental Science and Management. Before joining UQ he was the Environment Commissioner of the Industry Commission, now the Productivity Commission. And yet another step back in history, he was one of the pioneers who established Australia’s first university environment program, at Griffith University. He recieved an Order of Australia for his work on natural resources, a Centenary Medal for education, and individual award from the United Nations Association of Australia. He left school at the age of 14 to go into the shearing sheds and 13 years later commenced on his academic career.

All welcome. For further information, contact convenor Jane O’Sullivan 


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