Columnist Elizabeth Farrelly, in her Fairfax article ‘Critter cullers turn our lives into roadkill’ (2-Jul-09) claims "so disdainful are Kiwis of our beloved Trichosurus vulpecula (Australian possums) that, not content with persecuting what they carelessly tag the "common brushtail", they pay themselves a hundred bucks a pelt, call it conservation and use the fur for beanies and rugby scarves. (And no, the critters are not simply shorn).”
Farrelly, like many Kiwi’s acknowledges New Zealand’s introduced possum problem, but like many Kiwi’s with an Australian chip on their shoulder, she is quick to deride anything Australian. On the New Zealand introduced possum problem, Farrelly is defeatist. Why not offer a genuine suggestion to New Zealand’s introduced possum long ignored plight? But instead, Farrelly quips “happily shoot the little varmints, pink noses and all” or even “shove them home through some great sub-Tasman possum pipeline.”
Farrelly, an urban futurist in her 2008 book ‘Blubberland: The Dangers of Happiness’ prescribes a utopian urban Australia as one that crams urban sprawl vertically into extreme high-rise where people aspire to the ‘simple life’ by “growing veggies on a postage stamp city lot”. And Farrelly's an urban planner?
In Fairfax media, 5-Aug-09 Farrelly taunts “make climbing the Rock an initiation rite for every Australian." Is this ignorance or a neo-colonist contempt of Aboriginal spiritual lore?
Farrelly is disdainful and condescending of this author's proposal in CanDoBetter to repatriate possums humanely back to Australia. Perhaps Farrelly has a better humane suggestion? Or perhaps to balance the population scores, the repatriation could be reciprocated by repatriating introduced Kiwis taking Aussie jobs should packed up humanely back to New Zealand? This would simultaneously address Australia’s population sprawl, caused by the many immigrants displacing Australians and underpinning the sprawl of which Farrelly is so critical in her book.
Kiwis in glass houses....
Out of Australia’s dark white colonial past, colonial antagonism towards its indigenous people and fauna has been typically incited by smug prejudiced colonists. 'Colonialism' is a practice of domination, which involves the subjugation of one people to another. [Stanford Dictionary].
Colonialism is a form of cultural imperialism and should be relegated to dark white history. Neo-colonialsm is immigration. Immigrants to any country have a moral duty to be respectful of the values of their new country of choice. Immigrants do have a choice after all.
When offered Australian citizenship, one of the greatest privileges anyone on the planet could be granted, Australia's compulsory 'Pledge of Commitment' reads:
“From this time forward, I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey.”
But smug new Australians in their generous host country have a nerve to sling off and put down locals, indigenous peoples and their culture, and to condemn its nature. Asserting acquired situational narcissism involving racist vilification should be a breach of conditions of citizenship and a precursor to questioning permanent residency privileges.
During 2008-09, short-term arrivals of New Zealand citizens totalled 1 354 500, an increase of 0.9 percent over the previous year. [ABS]