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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (12 March) . . Page.. 967 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

community. I am glad that the Assembly will now support my motion and that we can move on to focus on outcomes for the people of Kippax, outcomes for planning and outcomes for the community of West Belconnen.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Canberra's 90th birthday

MR HARGREAVES (5.16): I move:

That the Assembly:

acknowledges that today is Canberra's 90th birthday;

expresses its joy at living in Canberra for all that it offers;

acknowledge further that following the bushfires of 18 January this year, we applaud the community spirit that has shone through and can now be described as quintessentially Canberran.

I sincerely hope that Ms Dundas, Mr Berry, Mr Stefaniak and anybody else who is a member for Ginninderra will get the library fixed up before Canberra's 100th birthday. I am sure that they will. Another member for Ginninderra is the good Chief Minister. I am sure that he will be agitating also on behalf of those people. Ms Dundas said that the library issue has been going on for 10 years. She was only a little nipper then and has had the benefit of growing up in this fine town of ours. We are seeing the product of this fine town representing the fine burghers of Ginninderra and fighting damn hard for that library in Kippax. I wish them all the best of luck. I hope that it will not take any longer than the debate to deliver on the promise.

Today is Canberra's 90th birthday. We have achieved a great deal as a community in those 90 years. By world comparisons, we have a relatively short history as a city, but it is important to acknowledge that Canberra and its surrounds have been home to the Ngunnawal people for more than 20,000 years. We have a rich heritage to draw upon and we owe a huge debt to the Ngunnawal people for that. The creation of Canberra as the national capital was hugely significant in Australia becoming a federation. It is difficult to imagine the six states coming together with Sydney or Melbourne as the capital. I just cannot imagine it and it just would not happen.

I love living in Canberra. I have been a resident since 1968, about 35 years. When I have been challenged about my citizenship by people who have been born in this country, I have said to those people that I am an Australian by choice, not by accident of birth, and I am a Canberran by choice, the product of an air force family that travelled round the place like gypsies. I jumped ship when we got to Canberra, because it is the best place in the country.

I am a Canberran by choice and I live in Tuggeranong by choice, having lived in Belconnen for a long time, having lived in Garran and having lived in O'Connor. Finally, I went to Tuggeranong. I am sure that that is where the Ark of the Covenant is secreted. It is God's own country, as the good member for Molonglo, Mrs Burke, knows only too well. We share the suburb and she knows that Tuggeranong is an absolutely wonderful place and is representative of what Canberra is all about.

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