Page 153 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 10 December 2008

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I believe that by harnessing this immense resource—the knowledge and dedication found in our community organisations—we can meet any challenge that comes our way. When looking for ways to encourage an active and healthy lifestyle, where better to go than to ask the local football club or walking group? These organisations, run for and by local residents, should be considered an asset to drive and promote healthier lifestyles.

Opportunities do not end with health. With goodwill and open communication, we can see community dividends in the areas of education, welfare, planning and local services—in any area we choose to examine. The opportunities are as vast as the background and qualifications of people in this city. The efforts of government can only be enhanced by a relationship with these organisations already delivering so much to our community through the dedication of our members.

Mr Speaker, we as a city will face many challenges over the coming years. We need to provide for next year while investing in the next decade. We need to maintain our fiscal discipline while weathering the effects of the global financial crisis. We need to liaise with community organisations and we need to make tough decisions when needed. We must do these things and more, and it is going to be hard. I do not believe that anyone here today signed up expecting it to be easy. I, for one, am eagerly looking forward to working with my Assembly colleagues over the coming years.

I pledge here today that I will simply and wholeheartedly do all I can to make the ACT and Brindabella the best they can be. Mr Speaker, colleagues and friends, that’s it, and thank you for listening.

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens), by leave: I wish to first acknowledge the Ngunnawal people as the traditional owners and continuing custodians of the lands of the ACT and pay my respects to the elders, families and ancestors. I celebrate Ngunnawal culture and the invaluable contribution it makes to our community.

I am honoured to be standing here today as an MLA representing the people of Ginninderra and also as the Parliamentary Convenor of the largest team of Green MLAs to be elected to the Legislative Assembly for the ACT. The date 18 October 2008 will go down in ACT Greens history as our most successful election outcome to date, with four of us voted in on a massive wave of support from the people of the ACT.

I take the opportunity, Mr Speaker, to congratulate you on being the first Greens Speaker in not only this Assembly but in any national or international parliament and am confident in your ability to carry out your duties and uphold the dignity of the office. I would also like to take the opportunity to congratulate Amanda Bresnan and Caroline Le Couteur for their electoral success. And congratulations to all members on their election.

We have a strong Greens team that have experience and expertise across the board from environment to business to health to community services and to issues of social justice. Our great election result demonstrates clearly the view of thousands of our fellow citizens who are strongly committed to Greens principles of open and participatory government, care for people and the environment, and a peaceful society.

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