October 9th 2004

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Articles from this issue:

ELECTION 2004: Will Labor, Liberal big-spending promises swing voters?

EDITORIAL: Election auction ignores the real challenge

NATIONAL PARTY: John Anderson accused of misleading voters

EDUCATION: Behind Labor's church school 'hit list'

STRAWS IN THE WIND: The outlaw seas and international terrorism / Renaissance of Australian unionism?

FEDERAL ELECTION: Major parties gag candidates

BIOETHICS: Embryo research and the tooth fairy

MEDICINE: Coma arousal therapy: Dr Ted Freeman's treatment for PVS patients

DRUGS: Parents reject marijuana decriminalisation

AGEING: Wanted: Loving family to adopt 'granddad au pair'

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: End the UN political stand-off against Taiwan

CHINA: Hong Kong elections a clear win for democracy

INDIA: Secularism an absolute necessity for India

POLITICAL IDEAS: Ten principles of a property-owning democracy

Taiwan's exclusion from UN unjustified (letter)

Australia needs infrastructure (letter)

Time for men's policy (letter)

BOOKS: ANTI-AMERICANISM, by Jean-François Revel

BOOKS: THE EMPTY CRADLE, by Phillip Longman

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Time for men's policy (letter)

by Alan Barron

News Weekly, October 9, 2004

When Mr Latham unveiled Labor's Women's Policy recently, there was no mention of a Men's Policy. Presumably, Labor has no Men's Policy.

The Prime Minister Mr Howard should apply innovation and some lateral thinking and not only produce a Women's Policy, but also a Men's Policy. This would be a historical first for Australia and a long overdue reform.

This is not the 1960s - times have changed and clearly there are discernible issues of concern to men. Having a men's policy in no way detracts from having a women's policy as each sex has different issues which need to be addressed.

The government - as part of its men's policy initiative - could address male health issues such as a national prostate screening program and tackle the high incidence of male heart disease and obesity.

Also, many men over the age of 50 are doing it tough in terms of finding employment, and something needs to be done to help mature-aged workers find work or to retrain.

While the recent mooted reforms to Family Law were a step in the right direction, more could be done to help separated fathers gain access to their children.

In addition, the government could also expand on its Lighthouse program to help boys who under-perform at school.

As we move further into the 21st century, there must be recognition by governments of all persuasions that they have an obligation to all citizens. It's not fair to pretend half the population have no problems and are doing it easy.

Alan Barron,
Grovedale, Vic.

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