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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 1 Hansard (10 February) . .

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Territory or a judge of that court authorised by the Chief Justice, the Hon Justice Helen Murrell, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory, will attend the chamber.

The Chief Justice attended accordingly—

Ms Meegan Fitzharris was introduced, and made and subscribed the oath of allegiance required by law.

The Chief Justice having retired—

Inaugural speech

MS FITZHARRIS (Molonglo): I seek leave of the Assembly to make my inaugural speech.

Leave granted.

MADAM SPEAKER: Before I call Ms Fitzharris, I remind members that this is her inaugural speech, and the tradition is that she is heard in silence.

MS FITZHARRIS: Thank you, Madam Speaker, and thank you to my new Assembly colleagues for the opportunity to give my first speech today. I start by acknowledging the Ngunnawal people, on whose land we meet. I honour your ongoing contribution to our city and pay my respects to your elders, past and present, and I look forward to working with you in my capacity as a member of this place.

Madam Speaker, it is a privilege to be elected to the vacancy left by former Chief Minister Katy Gallagher. Katy's contribution to Canberra was remarkable, and I am glad it will continue. She made many decisions that improved the lives of people in this city as Chief Minister, and especially as health minister. But for me it was the way she did her job—her willingness to explain the complexities of governing and to take her community with her—that was her greatest legacy in this Assembly. That she did this as a working mum was something many women and men across Canberra were inspired by. I was one of them.

Katy lifted people's views of politicians and of what politics can be. She won, and kept, the community's trust—no mean feat these days.

Writing this speech was hard but rewarding, as each of you has experienced. There is not enough time to acknowledge everyone and everything, but I do want to say some thankyous.

Thank you to the people of Molonglo, and especially Gungahlin, who supported me in 2012. I will work hard to honour the trust that you showed me through your support.

Thank you to my colleagues from other parties for your welcomes. We will not always agree, but where we do, I hope we can acknowledge it. I look forward to working with you. Thank you to the Assembly staff for all your support.


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