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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 December 2020 2020) . . Page.. 54 ..


that does not pay enough to cover car parking, with no partner to share the drop-offs and pick-ups. I think about a man in his 80s who cannot walk as far as he used to but still wants to get out to see friends without having to organise someone to drive him.

When I think about people on the long waiting list for counselling or psychologists, my first thoughts are for the people who cannot afford private services and the people who cannot wait months for a first appointment. And when I think about people on the waiting list for public housing, the ones I am most worried about are women and their kids in domestic violence crisis housing who are ready to move on with their life if only there was affordable, safe, long-term housing to move into.

I spent so many hours analysing data about economic inequality in Canberra, but when I look at the spreadsheets I do not see numbers. What I see are women working with no job security and for low pay in aged care, child care, disability care and the community sector. I see young people who lost their jobs in hospitality and retail because of COVID, just when they were thinking about moving out of home or starting university or making plans to see the world. I see the labour force permanently changed while housing costs continue to rise. I see capitalism failing.

When I look at our bush capital, I see tens of thousands of years of care and cultural history by the Ngunnawal, Ngambri and Ngarigo people. I think about how interconnected our wellbeing is with the wellbeing of the environment we live in. When our world is burning around us and we cannot breathe the air I hear our planet crying out for help.

I am here today because I want to build social infrastructure as well as housing infrastructure. I want to protect biodiversity. We can grow as a city without paving over the parks and reserves that are home to the diversity of birds and plants and wildlife in our bush capital. I want us to reach zero net emissions well before 2045 and I want us to do this by transitioning to a renewable economy, a Green New Deal that leaves nobody behind. This world is changing and we have a choice about how we manage that change. We can choose to do things differently.

It is a lot, I know. But I will not be doing it alone, because when the people of Murrumbidgee elected me as an MLA they did not just get me. There are more of us, and I do not just mean the six Greens MLAs here today. There is a whole community of people I want to work alongside in Woden, Weston Creek, Molonglo Valley and my favourite part of Kambah, where I could do five deliveries in under 30 minutes when I was a pizza delivery driver to pay the rent as a student.

Canberra is a city filled with people who think deeply about our future, have amazing skills to contribute and want to work together to make that better future happen. These are the people I want to work with. As Bobby Sands said:

Everyone … has their own particular part to play. No part is too great or too small, no-one is too old or too young to do something.

So to all the community groups and the not-for-profits that are caring for people and for the planet, I am here for you; to those people who want to reset housing


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