Page 8 - Week 01 - Thursday, 4 November 2004

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We will work constructively with the Legislative Assembly. As I said before, we recognise that majority government is both an honour and a responsibility. We respect the power and authority the community has invested in us, and we will return that respect. We will govern for all of Canberra and all Canberrans.

In closing, I would once again like to extend my thanks to the people of Canberra. I would like today particularly to extend my thanks to the families of all those who have served in the Assembly or who contested the election. No member or candidate could have sustained the effort required to fulfil these roles without the support of their family and close friends. I am sure that I speak on behalf of all members when I thank each family member of each member of this Assembly, past and present, for all their support and understanding.

In particular, I extend my eternal gratitude to my wife Robyn—my greatest support—and to my children Matthew, Christopher, Michael and Anna and their partners. Once again, each of them, particularly my wife Robyn, has endured with me the slings and arrows of politics and also shared in my pride at once again having the opportunity to lead the government of the ACT. I thank each of them for that.

Leader of the Opposition

MR SPEAKER: Under standing order 5A, the Leader of the Opposition shall be the leader of the largest non-government party, with the consent of that member. As Mr Smyth, as leader of the Liberal Party, is the leader of the largest non-government party, I now seek his consent to being the Leader of the Opposition. May you enjoy it for a long time! Did I say that?

MR SMYTH (Brindabella—Leader of the Opposition) (2.41): I give my consent to being Leader of the Opposition and seek leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MR SMYTH: Let me first acknowledge and congratulate you on your re-election and re-appointment as Speaker. It is a pleasure to work with you. I also acknowledge the honour of being re-elected as a member for Brindabella. First and foremost, we are all here as members representing a community—in each case our own electorates. For me, Brindabella is a very special part of Canberra. I thank those constituents who have seen fit to vote for me and I pledge to you my trust: I will not let you down.

I also acknowledge the honour of leading the Liberal Party here in the Assembly. I thank my colleagues for their support. It is a pleasure to be their leader. I do not intend to be the Leader of the Opposition for any longer than I have to be. I will do it with all the vigour I can muster.

I congratulate the Chief Minister on his achievement: Jon, congratulations. I know that to be re-elected as Chief Minister is a huge honour. To be re-elected with a majority government in our first four-year term is something that you will always carry. It holds a special place in the history and tradition of the ACT Assembly.

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