Page 629 - Week 02 - Thursday, 17 February 2005

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It is now incumbent upon the government to assist those residents to recreate the urban amenity that they first chose—not by allowing fuel loads to build up again but by identifying fire retardant plants that may be planted and grown on the urban fringe. A number of native species, some of which are native to this area, serve the function of stopping fire. Most of our eucalypts are by their nature very incendiary but a number of evergreen trees, such as the blackwood and some of the acacias, at least resist fire. We would like to see the government provide real support for the revegetation of these areas by providing, or at least giving advice about, the appropriate plants and gardening, and giving residents a role to play in caring for subsequent plantings.

It appears the government is suggesting that this very large fringe that circles our urban areas is meant to remain largely shrub and tree free into infinity. Therefore, the government has taken on the responsibility of regularly mowing these areas. We are all aware of residents’ complaints in earlier times about existing urban areas not being mowed and the danger of grassfires they feel this poses to their amenity. With these new fuel reduction zones, we do not believe the government will be able to carry out the quantity of mowing needed with the regularity many residents will reasonably require.

It is unreasonable to say that residents of these areas should be satisfied to have weeds and trees where once they had abundant trees and shrubs. Trees provide other amenities. They have a cooling effect. They operate as windbreaks and they provide habitats for birds, which a lot of people really appreciate. If someone buys or builds a house on the edge of a nature park, it is reasonable to assume they chose to do that in the full knowledge that they would need to be prepared to be fire alert and fire ready and that they might be involved in the management of that nature park and other areas close to them. I am concerned that this approach was taken in such a wholesale way by government.


MR SESELJA (Molonglo) (5.42): Yesterday in this place Dr Foskey, referring to my inaugural speech, claimed that by talking of a crisis in masculinity I was implying that this was the result of women’s games. I challenge Dr Foskey to point out to me the parts of my speech from which such an implication may be drawn. No doubt she will be unable to do so. Unfortunately, this is typical of the radical left agenda which Dr Foskey and the Greens are associated with. Never let the facts get in the way of a good rant. Many identifiable problems are particular to young men, such as a high youth suicide rate and falling levels of education. To state this does not suggest that there are not significant issues that affect women, nor does it suggest that women are somehow to blame.

There are many reasons for the crisis of masculinity to which I referred. If Dr Foskey had bothered to talk to me about it, she may have discovered that I believe that one of the primary reasons for the crisis in masculinity is the failure by many men to take responsibility for their children. Therefore, Dr Foskey’s claim is completely false. Dr Foskey also stated that traditional masculine and feminine roles are no longer appropriate. Whether Dr Foskey likes it or not, men and women are different. Recently the head of Harvard received significant criticism for daring to suggest that there may be

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