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them greenies or radicals. It is recent generations that have learnt the vulgar habit of squandering precious resources and treating the planet, sadly, with disdain. We must improve our habits. We cannot afford to think only about tomorrow or the next three years. We must start thinking about and planning for a future that does not deny us a good quality of life and yet respects the finite resources of the planet.

I would like to thank my supporters in Ginninderra for electing me, and I welcome the opportunity to work with the other members of this Assembly as well as with the many caring, knowledgeable and constructive individuals in the community who are quietly working for a safer, happier and healthier Canberra.

MR OSBORNE (8.20): While still flushed with the excitement of becoming a member for Brindabella in this place and while still basking in the congratulations - and, I might add, still full of a lot of self-importance - I received a letter from a friend with a message that made me ponder the wisdom of choosing this new profession. “May the future”, the message said, “bring all the best to you, your family and friends, and may your mother never find out where you work”.

Many true words, I realised, Mr Speaker, are said in jest, for the sad truth about the governors of the Australian Capital Territory is that they have not earned the respect of the community. This is still a community which, if given the choice, would choose to return to the days of a benign public service dictatorship. The past two terms of this Assembly have not resulted in a ground swell of support for self-government, and my own election, along with that of my Independent and Green colleagues, is testimony to the dissatisfaction the people of Canberra have with both the Liberal and Labor parties, which have shared the major role of government between them over the last six years.

I see it as my duty to do all that I can to ensure that in this, the third time around, the people of Canberra are luckier. They deserve nothing less than a system of government they can respect, a government that is responsive to their needs, a Legislative Assembly that is aware of their wishes, and members of parliament who are prepared to risk temporary unpopularity to do what is right. In short, I will be doing my best to give this city a system of government that I will be proud to tell my mother I am part of.

As a newcomer to public life, I am aware of my limitations when it comes to some of the complexities that will confront us in the chamber during the years ahead. I do not claim to be the well of all wisdom, nor to know all the answers; but my experience has made me aware of one thing: It has made me aware of the importance of team play. I can but pledge to the people of Brindabella who elected me that I will listen and read and use what commonsense I am blessed with to help make our Government a government that works. I will not be burdened in this endeavour to bring commonsense to decision-making by a commitment to the ideology of any particular political party. I was elected as an Independent and an Independent I will be. My commitment to support as the government the party that received the greatest number of votes does not mean that over the next three years I will be blindly voting every time for what the Liberal Party proposes. Conscious as I am that stability is needed to produce good government, there can be no blank cheque from me for the Chief Minister and her colleagues to fill in as they will. I will not be taken for granted. My support will have to be earned.

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