Page 2034 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 21 June 2011

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Affirmation of allegiance by member

Dr Christopher Bourke was introduced and made and subscribed the affirmation of allegiance required by law.

The Chief Justice having retired—

MR SPEAKER: Dr Bourke, on behalf of all members, I bid you a warm welcome to the Assembly.

Inaugural speech

DR BOURKE: I seek leave of the Assembly to make my inaugural speech.

Leave granted.

MR SPEAKER: Before I call Dr Bourke, I wish to remind members that in his inaugural speech, it is traditional that he is heard in silence.

DR BOURKE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I thank my Assembly colleagues for the opportunity to deliver my inaugural speech today. I am pleased to begin by acknowledging the Ngunnawal people, on whose land we meet. I cherish their continuing contribution to the life of our community and pay my respects to their elders and to those present today.

I am humbled and privileged to represent the people of Ginninderra and the Australian Labor Party in the Assembly. To take up the seat vacated by Jon Stanhope is a particular honour. My background, skills and knowledge are different from those of my Assembly colleagues and it is my intention to use them to enhance the decision making in here to build a better Canberra.

Vision is best gleaned with hindsight—when time has sieved the mundane from the magnificent. Looking back in time within the Australian polity two extraordinary figures stand out to me—Don Dunstan and Gough Whitlam. The extent of their vision for Australian society, as evidenced by the reforms which they promulgated, has changed our social and political landscape forever. They are the heroes who inspired me to join the Labor Party.

During Dunstan’s premiership South Australia was socially transformed. His reforms in the fields of Aboriginal land rights, equal opportunities, consumer protection, town planning, the environment and the restructuring of electoral law are close to my heart. His support of the arts, particularly for the Adelaide Festival Centre, the State Theatre Company and the establishment of the South Australian Film Corporation, were also inspired.

The Whitlam government, led by my other great hero, fostered Australian participation in international agreements and became an active player in international organisations. By ensuring Australia was party to these agreements, the Whitlam

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