Page 4083 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 30 November 2022

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common goal of wanting to represent and support our constituents. I particularly want to thank my staff in the Chief Minister’s office who work incredibly hard to support me in this role. And of course I thank the Office of Legislative Assembly staff for ensuring the Assembly continues to run so effectively.

We are now past the halfway mark of this parliamentary term. Time does indeed fly! I think we should all take Mr Braddock’s advice to find time to relax and recharge ahead of what will be a busy 2023. This place will be particularly focused, I anticipate, on dealing with voluntary assisted dying legislation, a process that I imagine will take the entire calendar year. There will also hopefully be a referendum on an Indigenous voice to the Australian parliament. I foreshadow the government will campaign very strongly for a yes vote. I hope the ACT will replicate its nation-leading yes vote in marriage equality in a nation-leading yes vote for a voice to the Australian parliament for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Having made all of those political observations, I conclude by wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday period and look forward to seeing everyone back raring to go for a busy year in the Assembly in 2023.


MS LEE (Kurrajong—Leader of the Opposition) (4.23): As I started thinking about what to say in my valedictory speech for this year, after six years of serving as Member for Kurrajong, I reflect on the fact that for me the role still very much is, and will always be, about serving the people of Canberra.

All year, like many of my colleagues, I have been out meeting and chatting with Canberrans at shopping centres, cafes and workplaces, and they all love our city. Most of the older people I speak to want to ensure future generations have the same opportunities they had, and a lot of the younger people are very hopeful but uncertain about whether they will have some of those opportunities. Issues like housing affordability, cost of living, high taxes, and the poor state of our health and education systems and public transport are what people talk to me about the most.

Our duty here in the Assembly is to listen and to deliver for the people of Canberra, and to make sure the best opportunities are there for Canberrans a hundred years from now. This is an enormous responsibility, and it is one that I and my team take very seriously. The conversations I have had with Canberrans from all walks of life are one of my favourite parts of this role. It is a humbling experience and I always learn something new.

As well as the great conversations I have had with everyday Canberrans throughout the year, I have also enjoyed hearing from local residents groups. These are the organisations that bring people together to provide connection and meaning, and the breadth of people’s interests and pursuits is truly eye-opening. These Canberrans serve their community on a voluntary basis, and I thank them for their tireless advocacy and engagement.

As we emerge from the destruction of COVID, I have heard a lot from Canberra’s diverse business community about the challenges they are still facing. Small and

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