Page 2096 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 2 August 2022

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security and safety; a city which is just as caring and generous as it is today, not because we have been forced into it but because that is who we are as Canberrans.

Canberra should be a city where there are opportunities for everyone to succeed, irrespective of what they look like or where they come from, and regardless of whether I, or any other politician in this room, likes or approves of them. It should be a city whose citizens are free and empowered to make good choices for themselves and to contribute to the wellbeing of those around them.

There is opportunity right now to achieve great things. Distance is no longer the barrier that it once was. Technology has reshaped the world and we do not need to be tied to the old way of doing things anymore. We can reshape our place in our nation from an economy that is fundamentally dependent on other people’s taxes to a genuine contributor, an economic centre where governments, businesses and academia can work together to drive great ideas and innovations.

I believe we can transform Canberra’s southern areas so that people have the opportunity to do that near where they live, so that we can spend less time commuting and more time doing the things that we love. The south cannot afford to stay as the neglected dormitory of Canberra anymore. We can and should be more than just a source of rates, and our centres should be more than just places to buy our groceries. But change will take vision, and it will take a new way of doing things.

Madam Speaker, I look forward to making my contribution to that future.

MADAM SPEAKER: Thank you, members. Get used to that seat, Mr Cocks, for at least until 2024!

Mrs Helen Cross

Motion of condolence

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Climate Action, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism) (10.31): I move:

That this Assembly expresses its deep regret at the death of Mrs Helen Cross, former Member of the Legislative Assembly from 2001 to 2004, and tenders its profound sympathy to her family, friends and colleagues in their bereavement.

Madam Speaker, I rise on behalf of the ACT government to acknowledge the passing of former member of the Assembly Mrs Helen Cross. Mrs Cross served in the Fifth Assembly from 2001 to 2004, representing the former electorate of Molonglo. She was first elected as a Liberal Party candidate but left the party partway through the parliamentary term to serve as an independent.

Mrs Cross pursued a range of issues in her three years in this place. In light of the recent overturning of Roe v Wade in the United States, it does seem fitting to reflect on Mrs Cross’s role in providing safe abortion access in the ACT. In 2002, Mrs Cross was the deciding vote—and the only Liberal MLA to vote in favour—of decriminalising abortion in the territory, as part of a conscience vote on former MLA Wayne Berry’s Crimes (Abolition of Offence of Abortion) Bill.

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