Greens Leader visits

Visiting Harcourt: Victorian Greens Leader Greg Barber, Bendigo East Greens candidate Jen Alden, Hugh Finlay, Senator Christine Milne, Katie Finlay and Bendigo West Greens candidate John Brownstein.

Visiting Harcourt: Victorian Greens Leader Greg Barber, Bendigo East Greens candidate Jen Alden, Hugh Finlay, Senator Christine Milne, Katie Finlay and Bendigo West Greens candidate John Brownstein.

Federal Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne, visited Harcourt's Mount Alexander Fruit Gardens and toured the property with owners Katie and Hugh Finlay last Friday.

The visit followed the official campaign launch of local Greens candidates, Jenny O'Connor (Northern Victoria), John Brownstein (Bendigo West) and Jennifer Alden (Bendigo East) held in Bendigo.

"I'm always really interested to hear how traditional forms of agriculture are able to be transformed by the next generation coming on to the farm," Senator Milne said.

"Katie and Hugh are a great example of breathing new life into a traditional property. They made a decision to go organic - it's taken them three years and they've worked really hard at it, but they've also realised they need to diversify.

"I was really impressed to hear how Katie and Hugh came out of drought and suffered flooding that destroyed part of the orchard, realising that they needed to build resilience, and they've done it. 

"It's great to see these local farmers recognising that diversity is key, not only in terms of what they're growing on the property, but that they need another source of income unrelated to the weather. In this case, Katie and Hugh have managed to use what they've learned to offer workshops and even go online with those teaching skills."

Mr Brownstein said the Finlay's enterprise was just one example of innovative and sustainable food production in the Castlemaine and Harcourt areas. 

"The protection and enhancement of our land and water resources is absolutely vital if we are to manage climate change adaptation," Mr Brownstein said.

Speaking of the Greens candidates, Senator Milne said that the community was fortunate to have such high calibre individuals seeking to represent them in Parliament. 

"It's a real pleasure to come back to Bendigo and see the enthusiasm these candidates have for their local community. They're so engaged.

"We think the Greens can make a big difference in the Parliament of Victoria. It's especially important we get spokespeople from rural Victoria into Parliament," Senator Milne said.