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Thursday, 30 September 1971
Page: 1727

Mr WHITLAM - 1 ask the Minister for the Army a question on a subject on which I would not think he would be expecting a question. I am prompted by the fact that last week was Plant a Tree Week in Queensland to ask him what thought has been given to supplying trees and shrubs to the occupants of Army married quarters so as to embellish the neighbourhood and to mitigate the climate in such rather stark areas as the Townsville suburbs of Vincent and Heatley near Lavarack? In particular, since the Commonwealth Government provides 50 trees and shrubs for every family it brings to Canberra, why is similar provision not made for families which it transfers to Army bases?

Mr PEACOCK (KOOYONG, VICTORIA) (Minister for the Army) - Consideration has previously been given to matters of this nature. I cannot inform the Leader of the Opposition as to what policy is adopted throughout Australia, particularly in the more remote areas such as Townsville.

Dr Patterson - It is a city.

Mr PEACOCK - I am well aware that it is a city, and it is primarily the thriving city that it is because of the injection of capital particularly from those associated with the Army who are stationed there. Townsville owes a great deal to the Army. Over the years, the area has become greener and greener and more pleasant to live in. It is a very pleasant environment now. The Army is interested to ensure that all its depots, bases and facilities are as attractive as possible, not only to the servicemen, but also to those who live in surrounding areas. The honourable member for Reid will be aware that I am endeavouring to get him some lemon-scented gums for his electorate, and that it appears this will be possible. I may add, just to complete the answer, that I am giving him these lemon-scented gums at his specific request for his electorate. I cannot give any more detailed and updated information on this matter. As the Leader of the Opposition said, it is not the sort of thing that occupies my mind daily, but I will look into it to see what can be done.

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