Is Rising Populations And Development In Sydney’s West Threating Food Bowl?

A family farm owner warns rapid development could have a critical impact on farming lands and the city’s food bowl. The scenery has rapidly changed from farmland and green pastures to housing developments. This family farm owner has been part of the Western Sydney food bowl, a $600 million business, which makes up three quarters of Sydney’s agricultural activity. But the farmland is at risk, as Sydney's south-west and north-west undergoes a rapid transition as an extra 833,000 more people are expected to call Western Sydney home in the coming two decades. But a Western Sydney University (WSU) study estimates up to 60 per cent of farming land in Sydney's west and outer suburbs has already been lost in the last decade. In the local government areas (LGAs) of The Hills Shire and Blacktown, around 40 per cent of agricultural land has been lost in the last five years. What are your thoughts LiveTribers? Is rising populations and development in Sydney’s west threating food bowl?

Posted by on 03 Nov 2022

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    OF course this threatens everything. People moving to this country should be forced to live in the country areas, to build them up. We have many hospitals and resources up north Mid North Coast, but everyone wants to live in a Mc Mansion in Sydney's West and clog up systems that are already overloaded.

    Posted by Mikayla on 25 Nov 2022

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    It has been happening for decades. I grew up there amongst hundreds of market gardens. All that is there now is houses. Even the bush is gone. All the fertile land is built on. It is harder to grow food on the poorer soils and drier lands to the west or rising into the mountains. There will be nowhere close to the city to grow food

    Posted by Tracey on 23 Nov 2022

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    Absabloodylutely .....good farming land adjacent to fertile arable land is constantly under threat from greedy developers and in pocket LGAs.....need I say more!?

    Posted by mact on 07 Nov 2022

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    Yes the same thing is happening in South Australia. Where I live the suburb and surrounding suburbs were market gardeners and vineyards. In the last year there are increasing number of houses being built and now alot of the vineyards have gone and the land sold for new housing estates. The market gardeners land is slowly isappearing as they get surrounded by housing estates. So now means less fresh vegetables grown which impacts the food bowl.

    Posted by Tean on 05 Nov 2022

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    No, with proper planning, there would be enough food for every Australian

    Posted by Vie88 on 04 Nov 2022

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    With better planning surely someone in leadership could help promote both components- supportive population growth and symbiotic food production. Look at countries like Scandinavia and their incorporated green spaces or hydroponic systems integrated within or underneath the cities.

    Posted by Nichola on 04 Nov 2022

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    No political party would dare make a statement that suggested reducing the population. But surely this is the only way to decrease the demand on a planet with limited resources. We need to discuss this, zero population growth for a period of five or ten years.

    Posted by Michele on 04 Nov 2022

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    Yes, it will be a problem. It is a global problem especially for cities like Sydney and other metropolitan areas which are overcrowded.

    Posted by aam on 04 Nov 2022

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    This is obvious to everyone except the politicians that this is happening. Just look at the over development which is occurring at Elara, which was once a very productive dairy farm on a floodplain. The once productive farmland around Nelson and Box Hill west of Sydney being turned into housing estates. Also the huge factories being built on floodplains at Kemp's Creek which were once productive market gardens.

    Posted by petron on 04 Nov 2022

  • [4] [0]

    Yes it is and will continue, but until people actually do something about population growth what will change?

    Posted by Danielle on 04 Nov 2022

  • [1] [1]

    Yes, of course it is - as well as our natural biodiversity - it is contributing to climate change. There has been a woeful lack of planning for green spaces and food production. Not a healthy environment at all : (

    Posted by Spiderwoman on 04 Nov 2022

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    Yes, it is a great shame - not only for Sydney but in all capital cities and globally as well.

    Posted by sexyAngie on 04 Nov 2022

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    The same thing is happening here in NZ. It's a real shame. The backbone of the country has always been farming and the like.

    Posted by _Azazel_ on 04 Nov 2022

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    Another Gilly

    New Zealand is doing some really odd things at the moment. Housing developments on fertile land is just the tip of the iceberg

    Posted by Another Gilly on 04 Nov 2022

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    Busy Bee

    I would say yes. It is not just in Sydney. It's a worldwide problem.

    Posted by Busy Bee on 04 Nov 2022

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    This is already happening in all states of Australia.. Sydney and surrounding areas have already devoured what were huge food production regions. Not all areas are suitable for food production so we must retain what we currently have. At the rate at which this is occurring only drought prone land will be vacant and there will be insufficient food to sustain Sydney or the rest of NSW.

    Posted by DDTT on 04 Nov 2022

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    Unfortunately urban sprawl takes up much of but our best and most productive farmland. Solutions is difficult...too much population growth in major cities. Encourage moves to underpopulated rural areas.

    Posted by wiseowl56 on 04 Nov 2022

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    The great urban sprawl as is with most of our capital cities unfortunately will continue to see the demise of semi rural lifestyles with blocks getting smaller and smaller…and the traditional 1/4 acre block with the chooks and veggie patch…gone forever…

    Posted by Brian on 04 Nov 2022

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    Blank Jim

    A living example of a First World Problem.

    Posted by Blank Jim on 04 Nov 2022

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    Delicate business of providing news homes and space to the growing population. It would be wonderful if accommodation didn't come at the cost of reducing farming areas.

    Posted by Nenester on 04 Nov 2022

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    Market guru

    government needs to create more agricultural land to meet the population growth.

    Posted by Market guru on 04 Nov 2022

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    I do not understand the Government doing this to any Farmer. We have good healthy produce in Australia due to farmers hard work. If there is ever a war we need them more to help feed millions of people here. No one cares enough to see this and act accordingly. Governments of today are only in it for their selfish power trip.

    Posted by starchaser on 04 Nov 2022

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    Yes of course, no farmland to agriculture will mean shortage of food in the future. Yet people have to live somewhere.The city has a lot going … shopping, working/ jobs , entertainment . Medical, culture., plus so much more. The whole world is growing .. not in size but population .we appreciate what we have. Australia is our home.

    Posted by greengrass on 04 Nov 2022

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    flower lover

    It should not be allowed! Government should protect food bowl land areas and prevent the housing developments in threatened areas. Clearing land for housing threatens the planet!

    Posted by flower lover on 04 Nov 2022

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    We need to use all of our agricultural lands to their full capacity so we can increase our independence. This is particularly important as climate change reduces the amount of fertile land available for food crops.

    Posted by Debra on 04 Nov 2022

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    This is insane! As the population grows we need to be increasing farmland to grow more food rather then decreasing it.

    Posted by Ana on 04 Nov 2022

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    Everything is about money these days. It is sad to see that farmland is being developed into housing.

    Posted by Rachel on 04 Nov 2022

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    Tara Rata

    I have seen more and more farmland be developed into housing. It is a disgrace to see it transformed just for the government to make more money on over populated areas.

    Posted by Tara Rata on 04 Nov 2022

  • [0] [1]

    Also the chemicals that rain down can be caught & tested if u collect the run off water from your roof of your house, ok for your swimming pool but not your tomatoes & other fruit n veg grown "@ home" commercial agricultural practices yeild higher than most backyard crops, & food able to be grown in each region varies, i live in vic & consume produce from NSW farms

    Posted by Samantha on 04 Nov 2022

  • [0] [1]

    Organic farming in tge suburban area does not work due to the chemicals that are pulled down by the rain causing emissions to become soluble, ie acid rain

    Posted by Samantha on 04 Nov 2022

  • [1] [0]

    This is a disgrace, more people will starve if we cannot produce enough food as this land will become dead & unavailable for agriculture

    Posted by Samantha on 04 Nov 2022

  • [0] [2]

    The answer lies in urban farming. People growing healthy organic food in the spaces in and around the places where we live.

    Posted by Alex!20 on 04 Nov 2022

  • [2] [0]

    It certainly isn't helping and one cannot blame the poor farmer who is increasingly being offered more and more money to purchase his land. Add to that that all his neighbours are selling up so what can he do? If he tries to stay the price for his farm will go down and he will find so many people complaining about his machinery he has to use or the smell of his farm animals or lack of big green trees, or that he has increased the flooding in the area. Very soon we will be like the koalas on Kangaroo Island - eaten ourselves out of food as all that is left is land that is unsuitable to grow anything upon. All the arable land [and there was never that much of it] will have ugly mansions built upon it Like many, I can see the problem, but not the way out as Australia wants to consistently increase its population.

    Posted by CILLY0 on 04 Nov 2022

  • [2] [0]

    There should always be farming and agricultural land which is separately set aside to grow vegetables, fruit, wheat and animals. Rich farm land should always remain under Australian ownership, and should not be sold off for housing estate development. Faming land purchases should be much more regulated by the Australian and state governments to ensure that they keep being a farm and are always Australian owned. If we don't do this, prices for food will skyrocket and there will be a shortage of some foods, especially with the floods and fires happening.

    Posted by tassiegirl on 04 Nov 2022

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    Federal gov. & i agree!

    Posted by Samantha on 04 Nov 2022

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    ace bowler

    Urban sprawl is creating mega cities but the question has to be do we feed all the people in these ever growing cities? The answer lies in urban farming. People growing healthy organic food in the spaces in and around the places where we live. Start small but remember to start!

    Posted by ace bowler on 04 Nov 2022

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    wrestling collector

    Has to have some sort of negative impact in the future

    Posted by wrestling collector on 04 Nov 2022

  • [2] [0]

    It’s kind of ironic. What we have been doing for decades to wild animal habitat we are finally doing to ourselves. Destroying our own food growing habitat for housing.

    Posted by DevChap on 04 Nov 2022

  • [1] [0]

    Absolutely. Allowing urbanism of good, fertile land is crazy. Local authorities should block development and stop urban sprawl.

    Posted by Vanessa on 04 Nov 2022

  • [1] [0]

    Historically, Australia has always been a land of flood and drought with two-thirds arid/desert and one-third habitable with very defined areas for agriculture/food. More severe and frequent flood and drought weather events have already been forecasted due to Climate Change and rising global temperatures. Critical temperature control mechanisms/policies seem to be lagging too far behind and I believe population increases are more than likely to make life stresses worse for the majority of people before they improve in the foreseeable future. Governments around the World have already been caught unprepared for this current Pandemic despite historical evidence of re-occurrence. It appears too many people in power seek to entrench themselves and their supporters for their own continually increasing enrichment and aggrandizement over the common good and benefit for the majority in continually increasing desperation and need.

    Posted by Maureen on 03 Nov 2022

  • [1] [0]

    Seriously affected! We have already suffered enough food supplies disruptions because of covid and floodings (include inundated fields and roads). Sydney's West has lost A LOT of agricultural lands in last 2 decades! The longer the distance between where food is grow and and food (or anything we need) is transported to the end sellers and users, the higher the risk of supply disruptions caused by anything.

    Posted by June on 03 Nov 2022

  • [1] [0]

    of course it is. take away land for development, add a pollution giving airport and prices go up to maintain the small blocks of farms left so farmers will sell up before going broke

    Posted by A48 on 03 Nov 2022

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