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

MS TUCKER (continuing):

We are in politics because we see a critical need for our voice to be heard. That is why I became involved in politics. Working in environment education brought me into contact on a daily basis with the latest information about the social and environmental condition of the earth. It also meant I became aware of the extremely inadequate performance of the other parties who have developed a rhetoric around sustainability but have so spectacularly failed to deliver in terms of integrating the fundamentals of environment protection and social equity into public policy development. Our numbers are small but our vote is consistent and improving, and our influence has been significant.

I have already announced our third term agenda for structural change in the ACT, which if supported would move us from the current short-term, electorally-driven approach, to one which is informed by an analysis of social and environmental impact as well as by meaningful discussion with the broader community. I know that the time allocated for this sitting is limited, so I will not go into detail about the nature of those initiatives, but I look forward to doing so at a later date.

In conclusion, I would just like to say how pleased I am to see more women elected to this Assembly. That is a very good thing for democracy. Even though we have very different views on some matters, as women we do have a different experience of life from men, and should therefore have a voice in policy development and in the parliaments of this country. I look forward to the Assembly being even more representative in the future with indigenous and migrant members.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Ms Tucker.

Australian Democrats

Statement by member

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

Leave granted.

MS DUNDAS: I wish to inform the Assembly that I will be taking my seat in this Assembly as a member of the Australian Democrats. I also would like to acknowledge that we meet on Ngunnawal land. I am deeply honoured to be serving here as the first Democrat to sit in the Assembly and also as the youngest woman ever elected to any parliament in Australia.

I have no doubt about the weight of the challenges that lie ahead for all of us here in the Assembly and in the community. I look forward to working with all the members and the community to rise to the challenges that lie before us and to work for the betterment of the Australian Capital Territory.

I add my congratulations to the members who have been elected, and especially the new women members. I also congratulate Mr Stanhope and Mr Berry on their election as Chief Minister and Speaker, respectively. Thank you.

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