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Tuesday, 9 October 1973
Page: 1742

Mr JARMAN (DEAKIN, VICTORIA) - I do. I am sure you will understand my feelings, Mr Speaker, and those of the many constituents of Deakin who have phoned me over the weekend, because you were similarly grievously misrepresented prior to your elevation as Speaker in respect to your pride and joy, your beautiful down-town city of Redfern. In a report appearing in a Melbourne morning newspaper I and a large number of the constituents of the electorate of Deakin have been misrepresented, unwittingly I have no doubt, but nonetheless misrepresented. The report was headed 'Chipp defines his dropout*. It went on to say:

A Liberal M.P. Mr Don Chipp yesterday gave his definition of an Australian dropout. 'He works nine to five, goes home to a well manicured lawn and double garage in Blackburn or Malvern', Mr Chipp said. 'When it comes to community involvement outside his own short-term and materialistic interests, he is the model of apathy.'

Mr Speaker,I cannot answer for the citizens of Malvern - the right honourable member for Higgins (Mr Gorton) is best able to do that - but I live in Blackburn in the heart of my electorate of Deakin and I know only too well the kind of people who live there. Blackburn is a unique bushland oasis in the midst of the vast asphalt jungle which is the city of Melbourne. It is only 11 miles from the General Post Office and one can wander there among the wattles, gums and other native flora. Blackburn has been deliberately kept that way by the people who live there. Every morning one wakes to the sound of bellbirds.

To show that these people are not dropouts, I point out that on Saturday morning last 300 people attended a meeting and last night a similar number met at the council chambers protesting at a projected subdivision by a developer of a 4-acre site known as Bellbird Corner. Blackburn people know the meaning of the term 'quality of life' and mean to maintain it in Blackburn. Blackburn is sometimes scoffingly referred to as the Bible belt of Melbourne. We are proud of that title. Perhaps the honourable member for Hotham (Mr Chipp) just plucked the name Blackburn facetiously out of the air without being aware of how beautiful this area really is. But I assure him and this House that the people of Blackburn are no more materialistic and certainly much less apathetic than other members of the Australian community. They are very much aware of their duty to society.

Mr SPEAKER - Does the honourable member for Hotham claim to have been misrepresented?

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