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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 March 2021) . . Page.. 655 ..


I acknowledge that the new Labor-Greens government was elected in 2020. I note that we now have six Greens members—three Greens ministers and even a Greens MLA in my electorate. The primary vote was only 13.5 per cent for six seats, compared to the Liberal Party achieving nine seats with 33.8 per cent of the primary vote, and with Labor achieving 35.7 per cent of the vote.

Given this development, I think that the role of the opposition is even more critical so that we do not see extreme ideas and policy experiments take hold in the ACT. The proposals so far—safe injecting rooms, banning natural gas, decriminalising drugs and forcing people to drive electric cars—are all things that the current government are looking to do. The threat from these actions is even more concerning, given the health and economic challenges that our community is facing. In my view, it is vitally important that we do not allow pet projects or irresponsible behaviour to flourish, to the detriment of the majority of the ACT population.

I want to assure the members of this place and the members of my electorate that I am resilient, revitalised and focused on getting the best outcomes for them. I have reflected on my first term, and I have some good ideas on what is required to rebuild support for the Canberra Liberals. I want to assure the Canberra community that there is a real alternative to this long-term Labor-Greens dominance. I look forward to working with our new leadership in Elizabeth Lee and Giulia Jones. I also welcome our newly elected MLAs, Peter Cain and Leanne Castley, as part of our new team. I look forward to working with them as they develop throughout this term and become excellent local members for their electorate.

For me, and hopefully for the Canberra Liberals, it is onwards and upwards, Madam Speaker. I am looking forward to hitting the ground running and cracking on with the important task of bringing common sense, personal responsibility and recognition of the traditional values of the ACT to the Legislative Assembly.

Multicultural affairs—Bangladesh Day of Independence

MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (5.35): Today I rise to note that last Friday marked the 50th anniversary of the independence of Bangladesh. This special occasion was marked with celebrations in Bangladeshi communities around the world, but especially in our multicultural community of Gungahlin. Commemorating the 50th anniversary of Bangladeshi independence is an important part of celebrating the rich and diverse history of Canberra and the many people that have come to call our city home. Australia and Bangladesh have a long and special history as partners with shared values and ideals—a history that I hope continues well into the future.

Bangladeshi members of our local community have made Canberra what it is today. They have shaped Canberra into a welcoming, generous and diverse city where people from all backgrounds feel safe to express their heritage and culture. I think that is one of the greatest parts of Canberra—in particular, my community in Gungahlin. It makes me so proud to see people from all backgrounds calling Canberra their home and celebrating within it.


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