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Thursday, 6 October 1927

Senator FINDLEY (Victoria) . - In discussing the proposed vote of £11,720, for the Parliament, I desire to direct the attention of honorable senators to the unsatisfactory nature of the answers I received to-day io certain questions submitted to the Minister representing the Prime Minister (Mr. Bruce) in this Chamber. Health is paramount to wealth, and, irrespective of opinions which may be expressed to the contrary, I contend that we cannot have a healthy and happy community unless we do all that is humanly possible to suppress the blow-fly pest which is - an absolute menace to the people of Australia. It has been said by the most eminent authorities that flies are more deadly that snakes. They come into existence in filth. I am astounded to find that in order to cheapen the houses erected in the Federal Capital city, which ought to set an example to all cities throughout Australia, the Federal Capital Commission is providing only the kitchen and. dining-rooms of the houses with flyproof door and window screens. Are the flies to be trained in such a way that they will seek to enter only the rooms which are so protected? Flies enter at every possible point of access. Expense is a secondary consideration when compared with health and comfort, and in my own home I have provided every door, window, chimney, and ventilator with fly-proof screens in an endeavour to prevent the spread of disease. I have not resided in Canberra long, but those who have been here for some time have told me that at certain periods of the year blow-flies are a severe menace. It m'ay be that now that a good deal of ploughing has been don,: there will he fewer opportunities for this pest to thrive. The cost of supplying flyproof wire is infinitesimal. Personally I like Canberra, and have always spoken favorably of it. I want the people who are to permanently reside here to be happy and comfortable, and to assist in doing this such a necessary convenience should be provided. The Government should issue instructions to the commission to provide this necessary protection to all buildings erected or in course of erection. The cost will be a mere bagatelle. If what I suggest is not done I shall appeal to the health authorities, and I feel sure that my appeal will not be in vain. In the interests of the health of the people in the Federal Capital Territory, steps should be taken immediately to provide fly-proof screens for the doors and windows of all dwelling-houses. Some people may be indifferent to the menace of mosquitoes and flies. I am not. I believe in health laws and hygienic conditions generally for the people. I declare war on all pests. I speak strongly on this subject because I feel strongly about it, and I hope it will not be necessary to raise my voice again in respect to this important matter.

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