Food security, which in the past has perhaps been viewed as primarily an issue for developing nations, is now on the agenda of first world governments. Food insecurity in first world countries has increased as a result of the global economic downturn, however a combination of climate change, peak oil, and unsustainable agricultural practices means that food security will stay on the agenda of governments even after economic recovery. This paper sets out strategies for local (municipal) governments to use local government legal and policy structures to build resilience to food insecurity in local communities. These strategies include direct use of local government regulatory, fiscal and land use planning powers, as well as suggesting a broader role for local government in achieving food security through advocacy and interagency cooperation. A case study is made of local government legal structures in New South Wales, a state in the federal system of Australia. Australian local government areas are geographically and socially diverse, and the strategies suggested are capable of adaptation to rural or urban contexts. It is argued that best practice food security involves a substantial role for local governments, which are best placed to devise regionally appropriate food security solutions.
|Keywords:||Food Security, Local Government, Public Health|
Associate Lecturer, School of Law, University of Western Sydney, Campbelltown, NSW, Australia