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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 12 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 3716..


MR MULCAHY (continuing):

immediately after their first harvest in 1621. It is interesting to look at the writings of William Bradford of Plymouth Plantation. He talked at length about the food that was consumed and in one part said:

And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison ... Besides, they had about a peck of meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports.

Thus the custom evolved of turkey being part of those celebrations—and apologies to those of you who are vegetarians—but I am certainly looking forward to that aspect of this dinner tonight.

George Washington, who was leader of the revolutionary force in the American Revolutionary War, proclaimed a thanksgiving in December 1777 as a victory celebration, honouring the defeat of the British at Saratoga. The continental congress proclaimed annual thanksgivings from 1777 to 1783, except in 1782. Roosevelt created Thanksgiving as the next-to-last Thursday of November, but eventually the US congress in 1941 split the difference and established that Thanksgiving would occur annually on the fourth Thursday of November.

It is an important occasion to remember that there are many positive attributes out of our relationship with the United States. It is not all about war and conflict and the policies of the current President. It is really important that Australians continue to work cooperatively with the United States. Tonight is a special occasion which gives some of us that opportunity.

Finally, let me congratulate the Ainslie football and recreation clubs on their new extensions. They were disappointed that I was the only Assembly representative to turn up yesterday for their opening, but it is an important contribution to the ACT community. I congratulate them.

Environment

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (4.42): Earlier today we learned about the way the government is ensuring water and energy savings in its public housing stock. The initiatives outlined are closely aligned to several other water and energy efficiency programs that the government has been active in establishing across government and business and in the wider community. The Liberal Party has just discovered climate change and the environment and is struggling to catch up with the government's lead.

Mr Mulcahy yesterday announced a series of what he called no-regrets policies. These policies, I believe he says, will generate more benefits than costs, including external costs. However, external costs mostly arise when markets fail. How often have we seen this happen? The part of the Liberal Party that seeks the support of business would say that markets seldom fail but, in the environment field, the factors for market failure are ever present. There is a lack of clarity of information. There are distorted price signals in energy and water. There is a lack of competition, inadequate delineation of property rights and limited financial markets.


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