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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (12 March) . . Page.. 971 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

Canberra's 90th birthday, expressing the joy everyone has in living here and acknowledging the wonderful community spirit that was exemplified after the tragedy of the bushfires. The opposition will be supporting the motion.

I could take umbrage at a few things he said, I suppose. I would not necessarily agree that the founding of Tuggeranong in 1974 was a momentous event, although it is a wonderful area. It is one of the few places in Canberra I have not lived in, although I am foundation president of the Tuggeranong junior rugby club. I do not know about the election of this government in 2001 being a momentous event but, that being said, Mr Hargreaves has expounded the virtues of Canberra very well.

I think we are incredibly lucky. He rattled off a few things which could be improved. Maybe we need a jail and our courts could be a bit tougher than they are but, all said, I think that we live in a place which would be the envy of most other places in the world. We have wide open spaces, four distinct seasons, a very good infrastructure, education system and health system, and it is easy to get around.

I was born here. I was delighted to see more native Canberrans, Ms Gallagher and Ms Dundas, become part of this Assembly. I have seen Canberra grow from having about 30,000 people. I saw the lake go in. I can remember the 1956 floods when the Molonglo took the form of what the lakes were to be. As someone who has had the benefit of going through our public education system and going on to uni to get two degrees, I can attest to the quality of our education system and the fact that it offers everyone in our community the opportunity to get on in life. In fact, there are no real excuses for people who do not take the opportunity to better themselves in a place like Canberra, because it does offer something for absolutely everyone.

The opposition will be supporting Mr Hargreaves' motion. I can think of no better way to conclude than to wish Canberra a happy birthday in the traditional way. I ask members to join me in doing so.

Members singing-

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am not sure that the standing orders have not been breached, but I cannot find a reference to that.

MS TUCKER (5.33): Ninety years on from the actualising of the Burley Griffin vision in the founding of Canberra in 1913, it is a good time to reflect on how Canberra has developed over the period. I would describe it as being in fits and starts. Canberra has had periods of committed and even visionary attention and it has had periods of neglect and stagnation; the way it went depended on the disposition of the federal government of the time.

While the purpose of Canberra's existence was always as a seat of government, Burley Griffin recognised that it was not merely a place for institutions, but a place for people to live and to meet. It is the planning for people aspect that has been particularly patchy over the years.

Canberra was long managed by a Commonwealth government department or agency, under the stewardship of the minister for territories, with no direct accountability to the

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