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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 December 2020) . . Page.. 51 ..


connected and part of political life. I am sure that I am not alone in wanting our local community to feel included in decision-making and be confident that our political representatives are working with them, for them and in their best interests.

We have an opportunity in this Assembly to build and enhance trust in the political process. This starts with how we do things. The make-up of this Assembly will necessitate collaboration and working in partnership. This is yet another opportunity for us to show leadership and demonstrate to other jurisdictions what constructive, collaborative politics can look like.

It also clearly includes what we do. Collectively, across all our parties, we have made significant commitments to the community. This has included continuing the leadership on tackling climate change and ensuring that our city remains livable in a changing climate. This has included protecting our precious natural environment and responding to the ecological crisis that we face, connected with a changing climate and escalated by natural disasters, including drought and bushfires. It has included tackling our growing inequality crisis, addressing homelessness and disadvantage.

To address all these crises, we need to act. We cannot rely on individual ministers or MLAs to work in silos on these issues but must work collectively to achieve change. We will need to work together to ensure that the community’s needs are put ahead of vested interests. We have made a great start, with a strong framework developed through the parliamentary and governing agreement. My focus over the next four years is to work tirelessly so that we do everything we can to make this city a more connected, caring, sustainable place.

I have deep gratitude for the opportunities I have been afforded to specifically shape some portfolio areas through ministerial responsibility. I particularly want to acknowledge and thank the Chief Minister for providing these opportunities. I commit to giving everything to ensure that these portfolios thrive.

This includes ensuring that we act decisively to respond to the ecological crisis we face and ensure that our biodiversity and ecosystems are protected. This includes championing and promoting building sustainability, accessibility and quality, continuing the reform work and rebuilding community confidence that the buildings we are designing and constructing are of high quality, will be livable even if our circumstances and abilities change, and are comfortable and climate resilient. This includes ensuring that everyone has a decent home to live in and that our social housing system is responsive to the wide range of people it caters for. It means protecting and celebrating our history and heritage and understanding how our history and our future needs can be complementary.

As I reflect on my journey and prepare for the future ahead, it is important to recognise the people who have supported me and will continue to do so. I stand on the shoulders of the giants who have had faith and belief in me, of those who have mentored and nurtured me. I will not look towards the gallery, because I will cry, but you will see a small representation of the people who have loved me, supported me, and chosen to be part of this rather winding journey. They are the friends, mentors and


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