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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4800 ..


MR SPEAKER: Pursuant to the resolution of the Assembly of 27 March 1992 which authorises me to receive written notice of a resignation of a member, I wish to inform the Assembly that I have received a written notice of resignation from Ms Follett dated this day. Pursuant to subsection 13(3) of the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988, I present the letter.

MR WHITECROSS (Leader of the Opposition): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a short statement.

Leave granted.

MR WHITECROSS: Mr Speaker, as you have just announced, Ms Follett has resigned from the Assembly to accept an appointment as Discrimination Commissioner in the ACT. This is a great recognition of Ms Follett's eight years of service to the ACT community as a member of this Assembly and before that as a member of the House of Assembly, and her contribution to the public life of the Territory, particularly on the issues of discrimination and human rights. I believe that she has made a significant contribution to the ACT on these issues and will continue to do so in this position. It is a matter of great pride to her, I am sure, to have been chosen for this position. It is also a matter of great pride to the Labor Party to have been able to serve with her, each of us in our capacity as a member of this Assembly.

Mr Speaker, Ms Follett was the first woman to be a head of government in Australia and, as far as my knowledge goes, the only woman head of government to win an election in Australia.

Mr Humphries: Apart from the present Chief Minister.

MR WHITECROSS: I will pay that one, Mr Speaker. Her contribution to the public life not only of the Territory but of Australia is indeed significant and I think not sufficiently recognised, but I hope that it will be increasingly recognised in the future. I am very pleased, and my Labor colleagues are very pleased, that she is going to continue to serve the people of the ACT in this new capacity. We wish her all the best, as I am sure all members of this place do, and we look forward to a future with a new fresh member of the Labor team in the new year.

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