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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 3935..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

I thank my Assembly colleagues for supporting me through some pretty tough times and always staying as a team. I suspect that in 51/2 years not too many governments anywhere in Australia have never had a leadership crisis and have never had any nasty words or even particularly nasty words said about them. The team operated consistently as a team and as a group of friends who respected each other.

Mr Speaker, the staff of the Assembly also have always been supportive. They have always been there to give advice with a friendly smile. I suppose at times they sit back and look at this place and think, "Oh dear, what are they doing?" They have always been very professional, and I thank them for that.

I would like to finish maybe in an unusual way, and that is to recognise the Ngunnawal people on whose land we are today. Thank you very much.


Ms Kate Carnell

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs, Attorney - General and Treasurer) (10.35): I move:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

In moving that motion I would like to make my Christmas speech this year about Kate Carnell. Mr Speaker, it was the best of times; it was the worst of times; but it was mostly pretty good. It was certainly always an adventure to be at the side of Kate Carnell. Riding shotgun on her stagecoach left one with the overwhelming impression that you were travelling very fast in a particular direction, but it was not always clear, at least in the early stages, what that direction was. Since those early days, the direction became very clear, and the direction was very appropriate.

Kate Carnell holds a number of important records. She is the longest serving Chief Minister of the ACT. She is the longest serving woman head of government in Australian history. She is the longest serving woman to have served in this Assembly. She is arguably the most popular person to have served in this place. She is certainly the most often censured of all the politicians who have sat in this place. She attracted popstar - like adulation on occasions and passionate antipathy. Above all, Kate Carnell did while others talked.

I would point to three of her achievements as the legacies that she has left all of us, whether we like it or we do not. First of all, Kate Carnell made Canberra believe in itself. For all the mocking at the catcalling over the can - do Chief Minister and the can - do capital city, it was a concept which branded the transition of Canberra from a city of government to a city of enterprise, a self - reliant community with a focus on its potential. We were starting to talk for the first time about exporting its skill, its goods, its services. That is a legacy all governments and all chief ministers in this place will encounter.

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