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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 July 2019) . . Page.. 2354 ..

Legislative Assembly—affirmation of code of conduct

Mr Gupta affirmed his commitment to the code of conduct for all members.

The Chief Justice having retired—

MADAM SPEAKER: On behalf of all members, I bid a warm welcome to Mr Gupta. Welcome to the Assembly.


MADAM SPEAKER: I acknowledge the presence of Mr Chris Bowen MP, the Hon Dr Mike Kelly MP and former MLA John Hargreaves. Welcome back to the Assembly. I understand that there could be representatives of the Indian high commission. Welcome. And to the many family and friends of Mr Gupta: welcome.

Inaugural speech

MR GUPTA (Yerrabi) (10.08): I seek leave of the Assembly to make my inaugural speech:

Leave granted.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Gupta, as this is your inaugural speech, you will be heard in silence.

MR GUPTA: I am extremely honoured to be the next member for Yerrabi. To start with, I wish to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we are meeting, the Ngunnawal people. I wish to acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region. I would also like to acknowledge and welcome the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may be attending today’s event.

I was born in Agra, India, home of the famous Taj Mahal, which is a symbol of love and affection. I came to Australia in 1989, and I stand here today as a proud Australian with the same love and affection.

As a young person who was looking for an adventure, I had a few options as to where I could go. While my siblings were looking towards many countries in the north, I looked down under. At the time, the only things I knew about Australia were the late Prime Minister Bob Hawke and the legendary cricketer Richie Benaud. I would later discover that there was more to Australia than a beer-drinking record-breaking Prime Minister and the legendary cricketer Richie Benaud.

Australia was a country that represented, to me, a leader in social democracy, a spirit of mateship, a sense of a fair go where people are rewarded for their hard work, and a beautiful environment, from the sunny beaches to the beautiful bush capital of Canberra.

I came to Australia as an ambitious young lad with limited money but with a pocket full of dreams. Coming to Australia, while a dream, was hard yakka.

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