Page 158 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 10 December 2008
constructively with all MLAs and parties within this Assembly to find solutions to the challenges that lie ahead.
MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo), by leave: I would also like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Ngunnawal people, and acknowledge their continuing contribution to our life.
I am very excited at the opportunity that being an MLA gives me to work to address social and environmental issues in the ACT and through that the rest of the world. Being elected to the Assembly puts me in a very privileged position, and I will work hard to fulfil the trust of the people who voted for me and to serve them and the wider ACT community well. I stood as a Green, and one of my aims now that I have been elected is to continue to be a Green in my life. On that, I am still riding to work most of the time.
Before talking about my broader aims as an MLA, I would like to thank my family for their support over the years and in particular my sisters who are here today. I would like to thank my fellow Green MLAs, the previous Green MLAs, in particular Dr Deb Foskey, and the rest of the ACT Greens for their friendship and support over the years and in particular their contribution to the election campaign which led to me and the other three of us being here today.
I would like to thank my previous employer, Australian Ethical Investment. I have been a director for over 17 years and I have seen it grow from having one part-time employee to having 60 staff and, before the global financial crisis, over $600 million under management. Being involved with Australian Ethical Investment has enabled me to be part of a business that is working to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. My election to the Legislative Assembly means, unfortunately, that I have had to cease to be actively involved with it.
I would like to thank the many voluntary organisations that I have been involved with. I have learned a lot from them in terms of the issues and how to run organisations. I would like to thank in particular the Australian Conservation Foundation, where I have been on the national council for the past 16 years. The discussions at council meetings have made a major contribution to my thinking.
I would also like to acknowledge the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society and the Alternative Technology Association, because I have always believed in solar energy. I was selling solar panels back in the 1970s.
I would like to thank my friends, again some of whom are here today. They come from many parts of my life and I really value your support in my new life.
Finally, I would like to thank my partner, Guy, who has coped wonderfully and very supportively with my new role.
I would also like to pay tribute to the random events of life. In arriving at my new role here, there are many events which could easily have had different outcomes and would have meant that I did not end up here.