Page 1023 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 19 March 2013

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We women of Canberra, and indeed the women of Australia, though not without our troubles, live by comparison a life of great wealth and education compared to the women of the past and many women in poor and less developed parts of the world today. I am often reminding my two eldest children—who are old enough, at five and seven, to listen to such logic—that we are some of the most fortunate people on earth and that as a dual-income Canberra family we must be part of the wealthiest two or three per cent in the world.

I think we should not sit around feeling guilty about our place; we are part of a successful society. We of all people must not see ourselves as victims. Usually for women today, where there is a will there is a way. We really need to take the opportunities before us and grasp them with both hands and be positive about our lives. We can be mothers, carers and women; we can become educated; we can have jobs.

I would like to see a generation of women come up who do define their gender not as a weight but as an opportunity. There is so much we can achieve. Let us do more. I am not a great believer in the glass ceiling, but I do believe there are structural difficulties for women in attaining some roles, and there are still things for us to achieve for the first time. But let us do so full of hope, because my life is so much better than my great-grandmother’s, and I feel so grateful to this nation and to our city.

There is still work to be done. We have a woman PM, a woman Governor-General, a woman Chief Minister and a woman Speaker as well as a woman Acting Speaker, and, with four young children, I have been elected here, as has Ms Berry with her two children. This would have to be getting close to a woman’s world.

I encourage all women in Canberra to look to the future with hope and to ask not what can society do for me but what can I do for society?

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 (No 2)

Detail stage

Clause 1.

Debate (on motion by Mr Seselja) adjourned to the next sitting.

Sitting suspended from 12.13 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Canberra Hospital—infrastructure planning

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, you stated in annual reports hearings on Friday and in the media that the $41 million intended for planning a design for the $800 million hospital tower block was now in doubt or is

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