New film captures the changing face of Mary

AGRICULTURE is a very important industry to the Mary River catchment and yet it is under threat as a result of local and global pressures.

Interested community members are invited to debate and discuss ways that these pressures can be addressed at the launch of a new documentary film, The Changing Face of Mary, to be screened at the Dagun Choo Choo Bar at the historic Dagun Railway Station this Saturday at 6.30pm.

The film was produced by the University of Sunshine Coast, with funding from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal and features local Mary Valley food producers discussing changes to agriculture and their concerns about the future.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion including Dagun resident and recent finalist in the Queensland Rural Women's Award Elaine Bradley and prominent rural sociologist Emeritus Professor Geoff Lawrence from the University of Queensland.

Film director Dr Lila Singh-Peterson from the University of Sunshine Coast said Australia had lost about 30% of its farms since the 1970s.

"Other national governments are restricting imports to ensure their nation's food security, and protecting their community's cultural heritage and aesthetic values," Dr Singh-Peterson said.

"This film and the panel discussion are designed to provoke consideration of these issues and to identify ways in which governments at all levels can help ensure the future viability of agriculture."

The film focuses on the Mary Valley - a diverse and important food producing area that has sustained a rich and unique cultural landscape. The Mary Valley is an excellent case study of both the challenges faced by agriculture and the strategies that can be put in place to address these challenges.

Free popcorn will be available to all guests and the Choo Choo Bar will have wine and food available for purchase.

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