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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 6 Hansard (11 May) . . Page.. 1587 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Speakers and a total of 39 members. It is true that I do not agree with much of what many of those people thought. It is probably true that I do not agree with the policies of many of those people, and it may be that I do not agree with the philosophies of many of them. I do, however, respect and admire their commitment and their courage

It is appropriate on this anniversary celebration for us to acknowledge that this is not an easy job. I do not want to be self-indulgent about it, but it is not an easy job that we do. We do it for a range of reasons, and perhaps there are no two reasons the same, and some of the reasons for which some of us do it are perhaps not all that noble. But we do it. In recognising the contribution of all those people who have served here, it is relevant that we recognise the courage that they have shown in their preparedness to put themselves forward as representatives of the people. Each of us and each of them in their own ways have sought to advance the common good as we see it.

We do not all agree. In the context of the disinclination of this community to grasp self-government, a lot of the opposition to self-government has focused on the members of this place. We have at times perhaps presented too easy a target. We have, to some extent, suffered from that, and perhaps self-government as an institution continues to suffer from the fact that we have, from time to time, been too easy a target. Having said all of that, I do genuinely wish to acknowledge the commitment that every person in this place has shown and the courage that all those who put themselves forward for public office show in making that commitment and exposing themselves to that degree of scrutiny and to the level of criticism which each of us faces as we go about seeking to serve this community as we see fit.

I will conclude in the same vein by acknowledging the commitment which the husbands, wives, partners and families of each of those people who have served in this place show in their support for those of us who are members of the Legislative Assembly. In that context, it is easy to forget that there is a life outside of politics and a life outside of the Assembly. We had a difficult debate last Thursday. During that debate, it was suggested to me with some force that last Thursday should have been, for me, the most important day of the year and that I should not have allowed myself to be distracted from that. I make that point to emphasise that last Thursday was in fact the most important day of the year for me. It was my wedding anniversary. There is nothing that any of us do that is more important than to acknowledge that we have other lives and other commitments. That, for me, is the most important commitment, and I acknowledge that to my wife, Robyn, who is here.

MR KAINE (10.20): Mr Speaker, I begin by addressing a rhetorical question to you and to Mr Hird. It has been one hell of a roller-coaster ride, hasn't it? And not just for the last 10 years. It just so happens that this year, 1999, is the tenth anniversary of the establishment of this Assembly but it is also the twenty-fifth anniversary of establishment of what was truly the first Legislative Assembly of the ACT. People often forget that. It did not meet everybody's expectations, but it was there and we cannot deny that it was there. You, Mr Speaker, Mr Hird and I are the only three remaining serving members from that body of 1974. I do not quite know what that proves but we are here.

In 1974 we had many colleagues just as we have today. The included Jim Pead, Jim Leedman, Peter Hughes, Bill Pye, Gordon Walsh, Peter Vallee, Fred McCauley and Alan

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