12 Jan 2017

Bunyip Food Belt – Lessons Learned

Matt Shanahan

The Bunyip Food Belt is a large region south east of Melbourne that contains some of Australia’s most fertile and valuable land and produces fresh food for Melbourne’s rapidly growing population. As urban growth takes over existing farmland, new food production areas will be developed.

This paper examines work undertaken in 2011 that investigated the feasibility and practicality of establishing an intensive agricultural area on the fringe of Melbourne. Issues such as urban growth, competing demands for land, productive soils, integrated water management, willingness to pay, irrigation demand profiling, access to labour and markets, and transport were all examined in determining the future prospects of using large volumes of recycled water to produce food on the urban fringe of Melbourne.

Read the full paper here, presented at the International Conference on Peri-Urban Landscapes: Water, Food and Environmental Security proceedings, Sydney (2014).