Page 149 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 10 December 2008

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Wednesday, 10 December 2008

MR SPEAKER (Mr Rattenbury) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Legislative Assembly—official tie

MR SPEAKER: Members, before moving to inaugural speeches this morning, I wish to make a brief announcement. It is with no small sense of irony that I would like to draw your attention to the fact that I am wearing one of the two versions of the new Legislative Assembly tie.

Members may be aware that until now we have been the only legislature in Australia that does not have an official tie. Recognising this fact, and after many previous unsuccessful attempts to choose a tie, the former Speaker agreed to the commissioning of a graphic designer to come up with two designs. The designs feature the royal bluebell, the territory’s official floral emblem, and are in two colours: gold, as worn by me today, and blue.

The ties are mainly to be used as gifts to visiting delegations or when travelling on Assembly business where a gift may be appropriate. Non-executive MLAs can utilise their discretionary office allowance to get the ties through the Strategy and Parliamentary Education Office of the Secretariat. I hope that these new ties will further enhance the profile of the ACT Legislative Assembly.

I also take this opportunity to acknowledge the presence of a former member of the Assembly, Mr Mick Gentleman, in the gallery today. Welcome, Mr Gentleman.

Inaugural speeches

MS BURCH (Brindabella), by leave: First, I would like to acknowledge the Ngunnawal people as the traditional owners of this land, and I offer my respect to them. I would also like to congratulate you, Mr Speaker, on your appointment to the the position of Speaker of the Seventh Assembly. There are 340,000 people currently living in Canberra who rely on a grand total of 17 members to represent them in this Assembly. I have been chosen by our community as one of those 17. It is a great honour and one that I hope to live up to over the coming years.

As this is my first speech as a member of this place, I would like to begin by thanking a few people whose wisdom, support, encouragement and dedication were central to the success of my campaign: the senior campaign team of Daniel Hughes, David Pettersson, Troy Swan, Michael Jard, Marc Emerson and Jennie Mardel; my friends and neighbours; and, of course, the grassroots members of the Labor Party. You gave up your afternoons, evenings, weekends and public holidays. You did more than I could have asked in order to help me reach this place, and I am so very grateful. I thank you.

Thanks also must go to the ALP campaign director, Matthew Cossey, for all his assistance in running such a strong and positive campaign, and I wish him well in his

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