Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (28 April) . . Page.. 32 ..
MR QUINLAN (continuing):
In the years 1967 through to 1975 I undertook tertiary studies and completed a couple of courses and eventually a degree, on a part-time basis mainly. I have to say that I very much doubt whether I could have done this in Melbourne, where distance and accessibility to education institutions come into play. On that score alone, I count myself very fortunate to have lucked into Canberra. I have enjoyed a career embracing both the private and the public sectors. It has brought personal rewards and allowed me to participate directly in Canberra's development. In 1987 I managed the project that established ACTEW, combining the ACT Electricity Authority and the ACT Water Administration, which was a departmental division. I must relate that I still reflect on that exercise as a high point of my career, and I put one dimension of that exercise on the record. After thorough preparation of our case and a series of vigorous negotiations our team acquired the water and sewerage assets in use for the princely sum of $94m. They have since been revalued, as you might observe if you look at ACTEW's annual reports. More than any other single factor, that gave ACTEW its favourable financial face which I now see being syphoned off to balance budgets. Despite what circumstance might lead me to say and do in relation to ACTEW in this place, it has been a significant contribution to the growth of our city and has, over the years, showed leadership in administration and service delivery; and I reflect fondly upon my time there.
Like many in Canberra, I have been actively involved in various sporting clubs and community organisations. I have had the privilege of working with many of the unsung and unrecognised citizens who make a massive contribution to that difficult to define thing we call community. I have worked directly with Respite Care, the Volunteer Centre and Fabric - all organisations of vital importance to the Canberra community. That experience, I believe, is invaluable preparation for a role in this place. I have a few crazy mates who are involved in the Variety Club and I have a 50 per cent stake in a Variety Club bash car, which I must confess I forgot to include in my list of interests. Through fundraising, mainly through the Variety Club bash, we have provided many thousands of dollars in support for a number of charitable causes across Canberra, including some very well appointed buses for the Woden Special School and Camp Quality. That activity has given me an insight into the many areas of need in this city. Looking at the draft sitting schedule for the Assembly, it would appear that the bash car will depart on this year's event without me. I have no doubt that the Estimates Committee and the budget debate will provide compensating excitement and personal fulfilment.
Mr Speaker, I would like to think that the foregoing history that I have self-indulgently laid before you allows me to bring to this Assembly a life experience that will complement and add a little to that which already exists or is brought by the other new chums. I am proud to be here as a Labor MLA. In this country, at this time, with this Federal Government, it is not difficult to be reminded why Australians choose to join the ALP. I am a Labor Party member because the ALP believes in the principles of equity and social justice. We stand for job security and the provision of basic rights such as accessible education and health services. As an elected representative, I regard myself as fortunate to be given the chance to make my modest contribution to reinforcing ALP principles within the administration of the ACT.