Urgent global and national action is required to address the health, sustainability, and equity challenges created by the dominant food system. However, there is increasing recognition of the important role that local governments can – and do – play in food system transformation. Focusing on New South Wales, and drawing on empirical research undertaken as part of a multi-year study, this article describes how local governments leverage their powers and functions under key pieces of state legislation to introduce a wide range of policies and programs on food growing, processing, distribution, sale, consumption, and disposal. It also describes the legislative, financial, and practical barriers to council action and concludes with a call for legislative reform that would strengthen the role of local governments in creating a healthy, sustainable, and equitable food system.
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