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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 4061 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

I believe in having a health system that is of the highest quality and responsive to the needs of Canberra. I believe in an education sector that provides our kids with the skills needed to be successful in life, and that gives parents choice and information about their children's education options. I believe in a community that is safe for all. I believe in social justice. I believe in a sustainable environment. I also believe that business is the only true way of ensuring economic prosperity in the ACT.

Mr Speaker, I believe in reward for effort, and I believe in the motto faber est suae quisque fortunae-each person is the maker of their own fortune. I believe that it is the role of government to provide an environment in which this can happen.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you Mr Smyth.

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for Women): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE: I wish simply to congratulate the Leader of the Opposition on his elevation to that position. It is a significant honour to be elected by one's colleagues and by one's party to the position of leader. I acknowledge that, and I wish to do no more than to congratulate Mr Smyth on succeeding Mr Humphries as Leader of the Opposition and leader of the Liberal Party in the ACT.

I say genuinely that it is a significant honour. It is a significant honour for those of us that are in politics to be afforded the capacity and opportunity to lead a party.

I don't think it should ever be gainsaid that politics at times is a difficult and hard business. Political leadership at times is very demanding and very trying, as I am sure anybody that has been a part of this profession or this calling would readily admit. I have to say I think it is a position and a role that perhaps is not particularly well understood by many within the community.

I am sure, Mr Smyth, that along the way there will be moments of joy certainly and high achievement as well as some low and difficult times that will cause you to reflect on what your colleagues have done to you. But let me do no more than wish you the best, convey my congratulations, and indicate that I look forward to dealing with you in your role as Leader of the Opposition. As I said the other night-and I am sure you understand that this was not necessarily just in jest-I hope it is a position that you occupy and enjoy for a long time. Congratulations.

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