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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Friday, 8 October 2021) . . Page.. 2985 ..


territory parliament is forensically inquiring into—line by line, meeting with stakeholders, checking out the evidence—only to find through the course of our deliberations that Senator Seselja has paid good money and taken it upon himself to push-poll Canberrans on the subject. That is just another quite galling example of the hypocrisy here. Senator Seselja cannot figure out if he still wants to be an MLA or a senator. But he is doing a pretty slack job of half-doing both.

I end on one final point, Madam Speaker. It might seem like an obscure point but it is worth making. During the election campaign of last year—and I wonder if you have experienced it too—I would meet the occasional Canberran who would say to me words to the effect, “Glorified town council. We didn’t even want self-government anyways” or “Self-government was foisted upon us” et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

We received self-government in 1989. I was born in 1991. I do not know a world where this city has not been in charge of its own future. Now I have the incredibly humbling privilege to serve as one of 25 members to help chart the course for the future of this city.

So I encourage those Canberrans who may have emotional views, highly emotional views, on the very topic—be it voluntary assisted dying or marriage equality—or some Canberrans who pine for yesteryear—when the streets were paved with the gold of federal government and we did have an advisory council—to reflect on the fact that there are now people in this place who have always lived in Canberra, who have only ever known self-government, who have only ever looked to this chamber and to this parliament to represent their interests, to fight for them, to advocate for the kind of city, country and world that they want to live in, and encourage those Canberrans to move on.

Self-government is here. It has been around for a while. It will be around for a while. We are big enough and ugly enough—to coin yet another Tom Davis expression, which I will barrel out a few in my time here—to govern for ourselves, to legislate for ourselves; and I think there will be an opportunity early next year for Canberrans to make that crystal clear in their vote on the big white ballot paper.

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra—Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Business and Better Regulation, Minister for Human Rights and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (11.43), in reply: In closing, I will just speak very shortly. I thank all the contributors to this debate.

This is not antics. Let us talk about some facts here. We received the letter this week. The Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs delivered its report on Wednesday afternoon. The motion was on the notice paper. I am surprised I have to educate the opposition leader on this but the notice paper comes out the night before the next sitting day. That not one person in the Canberra Liberals or their staff actually reads the notice paper at that time is a matter for them. The opposition leader’s comments are really very silly and a little embarrassing for her. This is not like dropping a no-confidence motion. There was plenty of notice given and formally.


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