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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 11 Hansard (15 November) . . Page.. 3574..

Fraser electorate-Liberal Party candidate

WorkChoices legislation

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (6.03): Mr Speaker, I would like to make a brief statement to highlight and applaud the recent announcement made by the ACT Liberal Party that Troy Williams will be their candidate for the seat of Fraser in the 2007 federal election. Mr Williams brings with his nomination an impressive and positive track record in the community and in business. He is currently the executive director of the Australian Institute of Building and has held a host of chief executive and senior management positions across a range of organisations.

Furthermore, Mr Williams is in the Australian Army Reserve and has been very involved in a wide range of community-focused activities, such as Apex and Neighbourhood Watch. Politically, he is deeply concerned about issues that affect families and businesses in the federal electorate of Fraser, including the quality of education provision, the conditions of employment for people in work and the ongoing stewardship of the environment, a topic of great discussion today.

The selection of Mr Williams as the Liberal candidate for the federal seat of Fraser is also a reflection of the high calibre of candidates that the Liberal Party is now attracting in the ACT. He was voted ahead of two other very strong and qualified candidates, one a local teacher and Australian medallist at the Commonwealth Games, and the other a certified practising accountant who runs her own business. This only reinforces the real world experience and broad range of individual backgrounds that the Liberal Party attracts. Unlike the Labor Party, the Liberal Party draws from people who have varied and in-depth experience, which in turn allows them to offer fresh perspectives on policy issues and keeps Liberal Party policies in tune with what the community wants.

Mr Williams is in the gallery and I acknowledge he is here today. Mr Williams's candidacy will offer the constituents of Fraser a genuine alternative to the current type of representation that they experience, that of a virtual part-time member who arguably spends more time fulfilling his party affiliated duties and absenting himself from the electorate rather than talking to the people of Fraser, gauging their concerns on issues and then assertively representing their interests in parliament. I know that to be an issue that many on the opposite side of the Assembly share with me in terms of his apparent lack of interest in sticking about Canberra and dealing with the mundane matters that he might have to deal with as a federal member. I know from my dealings with Mr Williams that he is excited about the prospect of challenging the incumbent in Fraser. Given the strength of the federal coalition and their impressive track record over the last 10 years in government, I am confident that he will perform admirably in what many view as a dead red seat.

Mr Speaker, I am sure you did not take much joy out of it but, in light of the High Court's affirmation yesterday of the federal government's WorkChoices legislation, I wish to comment briefly, as I have previously, on the wastefulness of the ACT government in participating in the states' action, given that under the constitution the new laws would apply in the ACT regardless. The sum of $95,000 was absolutely wasted on a futile exercise.

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