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It can be earned, for example, by a government that turns out to be as committed as I am to ensuring that Canberra is not turned by this Assembly into some laboratory for radical social change. I make no apology for holding what some people here might regard as conservative views - views that I prefer to describe as traditional Christian values. I am proud of my Catholicism and my Christianity and I am guided by their teachings. I believe in the importance of stable family life. I am committed to the sanctity of human life, whether it be unborn or elderly. I will have nothing whatsoever to do with legalisation of abortion and euthanasia. Sorry, Michael.
I can be fairly tolerant of people's weirdness; but, like most of the people I am here to represent, I am less so when it comes to the protection of my family and my neighbourhood. Thus I am deeply troubled by the message that is sent to the young by the advocacy of some in this place for the Government itself to provide illegal drugs to those addicted to them. I am fearful of the consequences that would flow from such an unwise policy, fearful of the example provided to children by a government prepared to replace the pusher with a prescription. I will do everything in my power to stop the national capital becoming a magnet for the nation's heroin addicted and would feel obliged to withdraw my support from a government that supported such an experiment. I will fully support a government with the courage to tackle the real problems - trying to break the cycles of behaviour that lead to the dysfunctional families from which so many of the social problems like addiction flow. The government I will respect is the government that recognises the need to devote the time, effort and necessary resources if prevention is to become the best solution to all kinds of drug use in our society.
For myself, Mr Speaker, I can see no point in being a member of parliament should remaining one require the sacrifice of my Christian principles and convictions. I do not intend to make any such sacrifice. I am confident that the people of Brindabella, even those with different values from mine, will have enough wisdom in three years’ time to reward my honesty and decide that one good term deserves another. I am conscious of the responsibility that has been entrusted to me. I am conscious, too, of the difficulty of the task of government. I know that not all decisions made here in the Assembly will turn out to be the right ones. As the Mayor of Chicago, Richard Daley, once said:
Look at my Lord's disciples. One denied him, one doubted him and one betrayed him. If our Lord couldn't have perfection, how are you going to have it in city government?
Mr Speaker, I, like you, can but promise to strive to get as close to perfection as a humble disciple can.
MS TUCKER (8.27): Mr Speaker, it is an honour to be standing here today as a newly elected ACT Greens member for Molonglo, representing the diversity of voices that make up the green movement. My involvement in politics is a result of my paid and voluntary community work over many years. Most recently, I was employed by the Canberra and South-East Region Environment Centre to work in the library and edit the Bogong magazine. In that job, I was confronted every day with the magnitude of the problems that face us. It became increasingly obvious to me that the many individuals and non-government organisations working for change needed to have better representation