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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 1 Hansard (13 February) . .

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Affirmation of allegiance by member

Miss C Burch was introduced and made and subscribed the affirmation of allegiance required by law.

The Hon Justice Burns having retired—

MADAM SPEAKER: On behalf of members, I bid you a warm welcome to the Assembly.

Inaugural speech

MISS C BURCH (Kurrajong) (10.07): I seek leave of the Assembly to make my inaugural speech:

Leave granted.

MADAM SPEAKER: Before I call Miss Burch, I wish to remind members that this is her inaugural speech and it is traditional that it is heard in silence.

MISS C BURCH: It is a tremendous honour to be sworn in today as the newest Liberal representative of the electorate of Kurrajong. A little over six months ago, I farewelled my job at the Department of Finance, packed my life into a couple of suitcases and embarked on a working holiday overseas, as is a rite of passage for so many young Australians. When I left for Toronto—Canada, not Newcastle—I certainly did not expect to return so soon, but that is often the unexpected nature of life, and Hare-Clark. It is an incredible privilege and an exciting opportunity—amidst great sadness—to stand here today. I am, however, very much looking forward to working hard to serve the people of the inner north and the inner south.

I was in about year 9 when I first discovered the federal budget. I remember asking dad to record it on the VCR so that I could re-watch it and diligently take notes, which I then went and presented to my class in school the next day. I was fascinated by this new world of budget measures, with Peter Costello spruiking tax cuts and surpluses. This new-found interest soon led me to enrol in economics in high school, and later university, and eventually led me to the Department of Finance, where I had the great pleasure of working on six federal budgets.

Something that has always struck me is the waste and inefficiencies that we so often see throughout government. Why is it that as soon as we ask government to do something we suddenly seem to be faced with layers of bureaucratic red tape? Why is it that as soon as we ask government to do something we seem to be faced with triple the price tag? And why is it that as soon as we turn to government we seem to be faced with mountains of paperwork, complicated forms and websites that are just impossible to navigate?

We are, of course, a government town, and as a city we are lucky to have some of the brightest minds in our public sector. Our public service, both federally and locally, is brimming with some of the most hardworking, dedicated and passionate people who,


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