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Thursday, December 3, 2020

Not a wasted effort: 10 years of OzHarvest

Over the past decade, OzHarvest has garnered support from all facets of the community, drawn to their simple message that good food should not go to waste while so many are still hungry.

A simple message, sure; but the logistics that go into coordinating their operation are far from that.

Arranging pick-ups, drop-offs, storage and transportation for the all the produce that goes through OzHarvest requires great effort and attention to detail.

OzHarvest ACT and Territories Manager Dave Burnet has been there from the start of their Canberra operations, and has worked tirelessly not just on the logistics, but also building the relationships with the food suppliers, their supporters and the various organisations that require food.

“Ten years, just that in itself is a huge achievement, to be here that long and still be so relevant,” Mr Burnet told Canberra Weekly.

“There’s a lot of hard yards that go into becoming a household name … and that community engagement we’ve got has just lasted.”

It’s the efforts of Mr Burnet, the OzHarvest staff and volunteers that resulted in 5,617,154 meals being delivered via OzHarvest throughout the Canberra community as at December 2018.

Mr Burnet said the hard work of everyone involved is evident in the numbers.

“We were the second branch in the country, and to look at where we are, and look at the efficiency ratings we’ve got, we’re one of the most efficient branches in the country in terms of cost per meal output and nutritional value.”


Roo cull begins

The ACT’s 2019 conservation cull began on Tuesday 7 May, with a number of nature reserves and Territory land now closed to allow for the culling of Eastern Grey Kangaroos.

Director of ACT Parks and Conservation Service Daniel Iglesias said this year’s program will be the largest ever undertaken, with a cull of up to 4,076 Eastern Grey Kangaroos.

“This is due to prevailing dry conditions across Canberra Nature Park which have resulted in a decrease in grassy habitat across many of our reserves,” he said.

“Given the lack of rain, if we don’t cull the kangaroos humanely now, many will starve to death during winter and the quality of the habitat for other species that rely on the ground level vegetation will deteriorate.”

Sites are expected to re-open from Friday 26 July, or earlier if the program is completed sooner.

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