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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001-2002 Week 1 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 37 ..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

this chamber will almost certainly be heard by people who know far more about the subject than I do.

I hope that I will always remain open to ideas from the wider community. In particular, I will continue to work to implement the longstanding Liberal Party policy of citizen-initiated referenda. It is a matter of political faith to me that the ACT community can be certain that its views are reflected in legislation as a matter of right, not of privilege.

Mr Speaker, my standing in this place today is the result of an extremely potent mix of circumstances and influences. The descendant of those Italian immigrants from northern New South Wales does not get to the ACT Legislative Assembly on her own. An occasion like this cannot pass without paying testament to the people who have brought me this far. The Presentation Sisters and the Marist Brothers in Lismore taught me and gave me a thirst for knowledge. My parents, Frank and Lorna Scarrabelotti, nurtured me, instilled in me a thirst for justice and educated me in the faith. My brother, Gary, helped me further that education and is always there.

The person I most admire in this place, Gary Humphries, demonstrates every day that in politics, as in all other things, substance and integrity are what matters. I also mention my friend Rohan Greenland, who always makes politics fun. I could not be here today if it were not for these people, but that is only the half of it.

Nothing would be possible without my friend, my soul mate, my love, Lyle Dunne. Lyle's wit and wisdom, his patience and poetry, have enriched me for half my life. Lyle and our splendid children, Olivia, Thomas, Julia, Isabella and Conor are an entirely unmerited gift and the depth of my pride in them is truly immeasurable. Mere words of thanks seem hopelessly inadequate.

Mr Speaker, the best way I can thank these people and the thousands of electors, whom I do not know personally yet but who put their faith in me, is by dedicating myself to their service with an unflinching determination that the small part I will play in the history of this city and the lives of those who cherish it as their home will be to their ultimate and demonstrable benefit.

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Speaker, I ask for leave of the Assembly to make my inaugural speech.

Leave granted.

MS GALLAGHER: I thank the Assembly for the opportunity to speak today and I congratulate you, Mr Speaker, on your appointment as Speaker of the Fifth ACT Assembly. To begin with, I would like to thank all the people who helped me get here today. Without their help, encouragement, ideas and enthusiasm, I would not have succeeded in what I set out to do some 12 months ago.

My mum, Betsy, deserves individual recognition, not only for the support she gives me but also for the never-ending commitment she provides to my daughter, Abigail. Recognition also needs to be given to my family: Clare, Terry, Matthew, Richard, Imogen and Amber, who always support Abby and me and will hopefully continue to do so; to Tim Gatrell and Michael Samaras, whose vision and strategic planning sent me on

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