In an emergency, always call triple zero (000) for an ambulance. Ambulances are the safest way to be assessed, treated and transported to the right hospital for the care you need.

Triple zero (000) is a free call from any phone, mobile or phone box.

For less severe but still urgent situations, go to an Emergency Department.

There are 12 public hospital Emergency Departments in Northern NSW Local Health District and they are all available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Emergency departments are located at:

roundtable participants standing in a group together smiling
Published: 18 Mar 2024

A new report highlights community-led initiatives, governance and agricultural production recommendations as part of creating a resilient food future in the Northern Rivers.  

The Northern Rivers Urban Agriculture and Sustainable Food Futures Roundtable Event Report follows a successful event in November 2023 which brought together over 60 stakeholders from local council, farmers, farmers’ markets, community gardens, Indigenous leaders, agribusinesses and native food producers, as well as people involved in emergency food relief, retail businesses, environmentalists, community food enterprises and Government stakeholders.  

The roundtable was co-hosted by NNSWLHD, Sustain: The Australian Food Network, and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS)’s Institute for Sustainable Futures.

The event, prompted by the findings of a scoping study of the Northern Rivers food system, enabled discussions on how food supply, access and equity challenges can be addressed. 

Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) Acting Director Integrated Care and Allied Health Kathryn Watson said natural disasters have put a spotlight on food security issues. 

“Healthy environments and thriving communities are a key to creating a healthy society,” Ms Watson said. 

“At the heart of it, we want people to be able to access good quality fresh and healthy food to keep themselves and their families well."

UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures Research Principal Fiona Berry said the report was an important local contribution to addressing broader issues.

“The roundtable report provides locally informed solutions to creating a resilient food future in the Northern Rivers in light of compounding disasters,” Ms Berry said.

“Recommendations include a community-led Food Policy Council and Regional Food Strategy that includes diverse representation including youth, elderly, Indigenous and those experiencing food insecurity,” Ms Berry said. 

“There is a need to create a local governance framework that spans all aspects of the food system including agriculture, planning, health and social services.

“The roundtable has already led to Clarence Valley and Ballina Shire Councils passing Notice of Motions to increase food security in the region and pursue public land for urban agriculture and a regional Northern Rivers Joint Organisations recommendation to address food security in the region.

“Ballina Shire Council also resolved to conduct an audit of Council owned or managed land that may be suitable for small-scale food production and explore the feasibility of affordable leases to individuals or co-operatives capable of producing food for local food markets.

Director of Sustain: the Australian Food Network, Nick Rose said there are other examples where stakeholders are working in partnership with government to create a sustainable food future.

“A great example is Vermont’s Farm to Plate Plan, which was established through state legislation and has led to the creation of over 6500 jobs in food-related industries, has helped establish over 370 new food and farm businesses and has increased the purchase of local food from $176 million to $310 million,” Mr Rose said.

“We are seeing this leadership from within the Northern Rivers community and the commitment to connect with stakeholders to progress a bright economic food future for this region.”

If you would like to be kept informed of this project and how you can get involved, email NNSWLHD-HealthPromotion@health.nsw.gov.au.