Page 1219 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 11 May 2021

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Tuesday, 11 May 2021

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms Burch) (10.00): Members:

Dhawura nguna, dhawura Ngunnawal.

Yanggu ngalawiri, dhunimanyin Ngunnawalwari dhawurawari.

Nginggada Dindi dhawura Ngunnaawalbun yindjumaralidjinyin.

The words I have just spoken are in the language of the traditional custodians and translate to:

This is Ngunnawal country.

Today we are gathering on Ngunnawal country.

We always pay respect to Elders, female and male, and Ngunnawal country.

Members, I ask you to stand in silence and pray or reflect on our responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.


MADAM SPEAKER: I acknowledge the presence in the gallery of Mr Norm Jensen. Welcome; it may have been a long time since you were here. Mr Jensen was a member of the First Assembly. We are glad to see you back.

Self-government in the territory—32nd anniversary

Statement by Speaker

MADAM SPEAKER: Today marks the 32nd anniversary of the first day of sitting of the Legislative Assembly. It is not often that we get to sit on the anniversary of the very first day—11 May.

In looking back at 11 May 1989, we can see that a lot has changed. Prior to 1989, the ACT was administered by the commonwealth government. In the late 1980s it was decided that with a population of 270,000 we needed our own system of government. The first election of the ACT Assembly took place on 4 March 1989. We first went to the polls as a single electorate of 17 members. What fun that would have been in campaigning!

The first political party to form government was the Labor Party, with five seats. The other parties that made up the First Assembly were the Canberra Liberals; the Residents Rally, which I understand Mr Jensen was a member of; the No Self-Government Party; and the Abolish Self Government Coalition.

At the first sitting of the Assembly, Rosemary Follett was elected as the Assembly’s first Chief Minister; Trevor Kaine was elected Leader of the Opposition; and David Prowse was elected Speaker. For the first few years the Assembly was housed around the corner, in Constitution Avenue, until our permanent home here was established for us in 1994.

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