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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 February 2018) . . Page.. 460 ..


As Mr Steel mentioned, growth in the territory is at four per cent, more than a full percentage point forecast in the last budget and the deficit has been halved. Of course a society is more than just growth and investment. As a government we need to help those who, through no fault of their own, have hit hard times. That is why this government is extending the utilities concession to those living in long-stay caravan parks and aged-care centres with embedded electricity networks.

Canberra is growing and it is growing strong, and Belconnen is growing and growing strong. We will always invest in Canberra and stand firmly against Liberal attacks on Canberra workers while making sure we leave no-one behind. I commend Mr Pettersson’s motion to the Assembly.

MS ORR (Yerrabi) (10.52): On the coffee table in my office is the well-known children’s book, The Little Engine That Could. It sits on my table as a reminder of the slogan of my campaign team in the 2016 election—the little team that thinks it can. We thought we could, we thought we could, we thought we could, and it turned out we actually could. As I am sure was the case with many of my colleagues, the end of my first full calendar year in this Assembly led to some quiet reflection. As I sat in my office before the Christmas break looking back at the year that had been, my gaze fell upon my book sitting on the coffee table. I reached across and starting reading. It said:

Chug, chug, chug. Puff, puff, puff. Ding-dong, ding-dong. The little train rumbled over the tracks. She was a happy little train.

Her cars were filled with toy animals—giraffes with long necks, Teddy bears with almost no necks at all, and even a baby elephant.

There were dolls and the funniest little toy clown you ever saw.

But that was not all. Some cars were filled with good things for boys and girls to eat – golden oranges, red-cheeked apples, bottles of milk, and even lollipops for after-meal treats.

Now I may have spent too long around this building over the course of the past 17 months contemplating the ins and outs of the ACT economy, but as I read about the wonderful cargo on board the little train I could not help but think of how it could be representative of all the goods and services an economy delivers—perhaps the virtues bestowed upon Australia as it chugged its little way through 26 years of uninterrupted economic growth. The train could even be representative of the proud Australian economy enabling the delivery of these goods.

I read on:

The little train was carrying all these wonderful things to the good little boys and girls on the other side of the mountain.

She puffed along merrily. Then all of a sudden she stopped. She simply could not go another inch. She tried and tried, but her wheels would not turn!


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