Page 313 - Week 01 - Thursday, 9 December 2004

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an almost seamless transition from one Green to the next. I have got to say that after being here a week, you need your Greens.

Mr Hargreaves: We intend to eat them!

DR FOSKEY: I think you will find me fairly indigestible, Mr Hargreaves.

I want to thank other members for their forbearance because I have had a lot to learn in following standing orders. I come from a very different political culture. I come from the Greens. I have come from a history of working in social movements. There we tend to try to seek consensus, we look for agreements amongst us and we work from there. Here I find that, even where there is agreement, the focus is on the differences and that those are maintained, even where it is often very difficult to see that the difference is at all significant. But it seems to be very important to both the major parties to dwell on that. I am absolutely unconvinced this is the most constructive and effective way to do politics. You are going to have to spend the next four years convincing me that it is, and I am going to spend the next four years convincing you that there are other ways and possibly better ways of doing politics.

I did expect to play a greater role in this Assembly and, of course, I thought that the committee system offered that potential because I saw Kerrie working in the committee system and I participated in it in various ways myself—through submissions, through reading the reports. I came into the Assembly with goodwill, actually expecting that my own expertise would be welcomed and I would be invited to contribute where I could be most helpful. Interestingly enough, I find myself on those committees where I will have the steepest learning curve. Nonetheless, I undertake to do the learning that is required, and you can be sure that I will participate strongly, I will learn and I will contribute to those committees and I will provide a very critical lens to the work that we do.

I found that I absolutely enjoyed the sittings. To me the sittings were perhaps the most challenging part of being an MLA, but I am very keen to rise to the cut and thrust of debate and I will be a willing participant. I most particularly enjoyed those debates where people have talked from a sense of real passion. I found that last debate most—I do not want to use the word “enjoyable” because I am sorry that it failed—to be the real business of what this place is about. I have experienced frustration when political game plans become the order of the day.

I look forward to getting to know everyone better through work and social events, and I hope that you all have a great Christmas break and a great holiday. But since I am pretty sure I am going to see you on the stairs tomorrow or at Speaker’s drinks, I do not want to get too strong and heavy about that, because I will probably be saying it over and over again. Nonetheless, I do hope you do.


MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (6.18): Firstly just a little business, and I am glad Mr Hargreaves is here. Before I get down to the matter Vicki addressed, I might congratulate him formally on becoming a minister. I was delighted that that occurred, and I congratulate Mr Hargreaves on a well-deserved promotion to the frontbench.

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