Page 275 - Week 01 - Thursday, 11 December 2008

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How does this global big picture relate to Canberra and the decisions we must take in this Assembly? Because by embracing it we define the brightest future for this city.

This is the Greens’ vision for Canberra—a city that can cope with the pressures of the 21st century, a city that fulfils our hope that a better future is possible, a city that our children will thank us for.

Our vision is a city where we do not build motorways through our nature parks; instead, it is a city with a modern mass transit system, where we can get a ride more than once an hour and where if a family need a car they need only one. Right now, 81 per cent of Canberrans have little choice but to use their car to get to work. We can offer them a better alternative.

Our vision, as Caroline so clearly articulated yesterday, is for a city powered by clean, limitless energies that do not imperil our way of life on this beautiful planet. Canberra is well placed to embrace these technologies.

We can also make our homes and workplaces more energy efficient—cutting our greenhouse emissions, lowering our energy bills and making our lives more comfortable.

We can build a city that is a hub for the industries of the future—a place of excellence in innovation and sustainability, leading the way in tackling climate change and protecting the environment, and creating jobs that will see our young people want to stay in Canberra.

We can build a city that uses its wealth wisely—a city that invests our savings ethically, that steers clear of those empires built on nothing and that refuses to invest in companies and products that ignore their social and environmental impacts and that threaten life on this planet.

It is this vision, this commitment to the future, that makes me proud to be elected to this place as a member of the green party. As in so many of the elections held in Australia over the last year, the results in the ACT election demonstrate that people are fed up with an old style of politics. They hunger for vision, they hunger for leadership and they are looking for a genuine commitment to protecting this fragile earth. And they are turning to the Greens as the party who can deliver the Australia they aspire to.

In this Assembly it means that we will not simply keep the bastards honest—that is not enough. The crossbench is a stepping stone to a new style of politics, a stepping stone to that different future. Being the first Green Speaker in any parliament in the world is but one example of this.

Much has been made during the election campaign of my connection to Greenpeace. To some, my so-called “radicalism” has been a point of celebration; to others, derision. Well, if it is radical to think that we should live in a world without pollution, if it is radical to think our forests are more valuable than just being clearfelled to be pulped into single-use tissues, if it is radical to believe that humans must live within the

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