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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 6 Hansard (11 May) . . Page.. 1598 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

resolved rather than in the way we see issues resolved in places like the Balkans. It seems to me that this Assembly has not been, and should not be, tied to the traditional antagonism of politics. We can do better. We have been doing better. There is still some way to go.

Mr Speaker, as a concluding comment, I would like to acknowledge not only, as I did earlier, the contribution of my wife, who is here today, but also the contribution of those staff members who have worked with me throughout the past 10 years, particularly the staff members who support this body, the Legislative Assembly. In all my dealings with those staff members, they have been absolutely fantastic. Their contributions to ensure that this Assembly can hold its head high have been significant. Without them, Mr Speaker, most members understand that we would have a very different Assembly and a very different operation of our Assembly. I would like to acknowledge those staff, from the Acting Clerk and Deputy Clerk of the First Assembly through to those who took the permanent positions and those who work as committee secretaries - the full range of staff. I know members will join me in thanking them for their contribution.

MR RUGENDYKE (11.03): Mr Speaker, I am very proud and feel very privileged to be able to be part of the tenth anniversary of self-government for the ACT. For too many years the people of the ACT were subjected to the rule of distant Federal politicians and their blase whims. That legacy left us with such things as the dreaded Y plan for our town centres and our transport system, large concrete monoliths like the Cameron Offices, which were built to house long-gone Federal Government departments, and also an attitude that the people of the Territory would be looked after by others for eternity. For the people of the ACT to be offered self-government is what democracy is all about - that is, to be in control of our own destiny, to be responsible for our own future and to provide our communities with the types of lifestyles that they decide upon.

In the early days of self-government there was a strong resistance by the community to the implementation of self-government, but over time that resistance has been broken down, and the ACT community is more accepting of self-government than it was 10 years ago. It is my task and that of my colleagues in this Assembly to ensure that the credibility of the Assembly is enhanced and developed to a point where self-government offers respected leadership and direction for this great Territory and its people.

I believe that, 10 years on, the ACT Legislative Assembly has attained a maturity that has developed through turbulent and pilloried phases of its brief history. But I am confident that we are at a point where the ACT community can be proud of what its Assembly has achieved and will continue to achieve.

Mr Speaker, it is also important to recognise the twenty-fifth anniversary of the predecessors of this Assembly and current members who served in them - Mr Kaine, Mr Hird and Mr Cornwell. I must also mention the absence of Mr Corbell and congratulate Simon and Nelida on choosing to mark this occasion in the way that they currently are.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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