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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 1 Hansard (12 November) . . Page.. 11 ..

ACT Greens

Statement by member

MS TUCKER: Mr Speaker, I ask for leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MS TUCKER: I wish to inform the Assembly that I shall be taking my seat in the Assembly as a member of the ACT Greens. I would like to make a brief statement.

Mr Speaker, firstly, I acknowledge we are meeting on Ngunnawal land, and I sincerely hope that this Assembly sees a much greater commitment to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Canberra. Secondly, I congratulate Labor for their success. I also congratulate you, Mr Berry, on your election as Speaker; and Jon Stanhope, in particular, on his election as Chief Minister. I welcome the new members. I wish the best for those members and candidates who were not successful and congratulate them for having the courage and conviction to participate in the democratic process.

I would also like to thank my family, my parents, my sister and children for their support, and John Tucker especially for your amazing ability to see the ridiculous and to keep me laughing. Thank you also to the talented and committed people who ran as candidates for the Greens and thank you to the Greens supporters. I feel privileged to be working with you all. I also thank those members of the community who voted for the ACT Greens. I take the responsibility very seriously and will continue to work hard on your behalf.

I am pleased to have been able to support Jon Stanhope as Chief Minister and I look forward to working constructively with him, as with all members of this Assembly. Labor's policy has come closer to the Greens in a number of areas over the last three years, particularly in planning and environment, and I hope that we will see this continue.

Having said that, however, I need to put on the record that I will continue to look at each issue on its merit against the principles of the Greens. We are certainly not in an alliance with Labor. I have noticed already this suggestion has become something of a mantra for some members of the Liberal opposition, but I think most people in the community understand that the Greens are in politics to pursue the Greens' policy perspective, not to play some support or mediator role. Our record in the Assembly and in the federal parliament has informed that understanding.

The result of the federal election illustrates the danger to us all of politics driven by pragmatism rather than principle. John Howard has won an election by playing the race card. The Labor Party was not prepared to call the bluff. The Greens have been emphatic in condemning the heartlessness of such an approach. And it was only Bob Brown in federal parliament who was prepared to speak against the ill-considered war on Afghanistan. I am particularly proud to be a member of the Greens today.

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