Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (19 March) . . Page.. 7 ..
MS CARNELL (continuing):
approaches, the policies, that we put forward both in this Assembly and in the election campaign. I take on board some of the comments that Kerrie Tucker made with regard to making this Assembly a more cooperative place and a place that does use the talents of all members as efficiently as we can.
Mr Speaker, I also have no illusions about the difficulties of the job and the responsibilities that it holds. The last three years have certainly been a wonderful teacher from that perspective. For all of us here, the next 31/2 years are going to be very exciting. The sorts of things that are on the agenda for the ACT you cannot but be excited and enthusiastic about - things such as the sale of the airport and the potential for an international airport and a freight hub here in the ACT; the very fast train service between Canberra and Sydney; of course, Olympic soccer being conducted here in the ACT; and all of the wonderful spin-offs that being an Olympic city will mean for Canberra.
Mr Speaker, the year 2001, of course, is the centenary of Federation - again, within the term of this Government. The start of that year will see the opening of the National Museum of Australia, a great event for Canberra. CHOGM will be held here in the ACT; the largest meeting of heads of government ever held in Australia will be held right here in our city. That will be a real opportunity for us. The centenary of Federation in itself, of course, is a great event for Canberra - Canberra being, I suppose, the first and only born child of Federation. There will be the referendum next year on whether or not this nation becomes a republic - another great event.
Mr Speaker, one of the things that I think should be a challenge for this Assembly over the next three years is to become a clever government; and that includes all of us. We have spoken a lot about being a clever city and a city which can become the silicon valley of Australia and which can encourage information technology, advanced technology research and development to grow and prosper here in the ACT, which, of course, will create jobs for our kids and for us as well. But part of being a clever city has to be being a clever government. That means, I believe, one of our challenges as an Assembly and as a government over the next 31/2 years will be to make sure we use information technology to the best possible advantage, both in this Assembly and in the Government more broadly. We have already done some smart things in that area. Now is not the time to speak about those at length, but I believe we can go much further. I would like to think that in 31/2 years' time we will be the cleverest government, from an information technology and advanced technology perspective, in Australia and, potentially, of course, even in the world. Already there is the usage of home computers and the proposal by ACTEW to roll out broadband cable is on the table. It is a challenge for all of us in this Assembly.
This is a small government, Mr Speaker, but that small government does give us an opportunity to use lots of different talents and does give us an opportunity to be less adversarial in our approach. That places, I suppose, a responsibility on each and every one of us to focus on the interests of the community rather than on the sectional interests or personal interests that we may have. We must all operate in the best interests of the community. I believe that we can achieve that and, certainly from a Liberal Party perspective, we will be working to do that. That cooperative and, I believe, commonsense approach will continue from this Government over the next three years, and I am very hopeful that that will be the case for the whole Assembly as well.