Page 2167 - Week 06 - Monday, 11 May 2009

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Monday, 11 May 2009

The Assembly met at 10 am.

MR SPEAKER (Mr Rattenbury): At the beginning of this sitting of the Assembly I acknowledge that we are meeting on the lands of the Ngunnawal people, the traditional custodians. I respect their continuing culture and the unique contribution they make to the life of this area. I ask members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Ladies and gentlemen, former members and guests, welcome to this ceremonial sitting for the 20th anniversary of self-government for the Australian Capital Territory.

20th anniversary of self-government

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (10.03): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that today, 11 May 2009 marks the 20th anniversary of self-government for the Australian Capital Territory;

(2) acknowledges the responsibilities of this and future Assemblies in ensuring strong, democratic and responsible government for the people of the Territory;

(3) expresses appreciation for the assistance given to the Assembly by other parliaments and their respective governments within Australia, most of whom are represented here today by their presiding officers and clerks; and

(4) expresses its appreciation for the work of former members and officials of the Legislative Assembly and its preceding bodies and the community associated with achieving democratic government for the Territory, some of whom are present in the public gallery today.

The motion that I have the privilege of moving this morning as Chief Minister in this Seventh Assembly recognises that it was 20 years ago today that the very first ACT Legislative Assembly was convened. That occasion marked a genuine rite of passage—the day the ACT became self-governing, with all the opportunities and all the responsibilities associated with a state of self-determination.

Today, 20 years on, we perhaps mark another rite of passage—a “coming of age”, a maturity that allows us to look back with some justifiable pride on those first two decades, and look forward, as a mature and confident legislature, to the next 20 years.

I warmly welcome to the chamber today past and present members of this parliament. I welcome those who have had the honour of being a part of executive government, and those who have sat on the opposition and crossbenches.

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