Page 2468 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 6 August 2013

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Affirmation of allegiance by member

Ms Nicole Lawder was introduced, and made and subscribed the affirmation of allegiance required by law.

The Chief Justice having retired—

MADAM SPEAKER: Ms Lawder, on behalf of all members of the Assembly, I bid you a warm welcome.

Inaugural speech

MS LAWDER (Brindabella): I seek leave of the Assembly to make my inaugural speech.

Leave granted.

MADAM SPEAKER: I wish to remind members that as this is Ms Lawder’s inaugural speech and as is the convention in all parliaments, she will be heard in respectful silence.

MS LAWDER: It is a great honour and a privilege to be elected to the ACT Legislative Assembly and I must, first and foremost, thank the people of Brindabella for the faith they have placed in me.

I come to the Assembly via a path less trodden, that of filling a casual vacancy. However, I am in good company here. I am joined by Minister Barr, Dr Bourke and Minister Corbell, who also began their time in the same way.

Winning on a countback means that the hard work of those who worked on my campaign still paid off—better late than never. So, as is traditional, I would like to start by expressing my gratitude to all those who worked on my campaign so tirelessly last year: my family, friends, and my campaign manager, the fantastic Mitchell Clout. Thank you. To the divisional office of the Canberra Liberals, the Women’s Council and members of the southern electorate branch, thank you for your countless hours of support.

I must make special mention of my husband, Peter, my second campaign manager, who was and is so supportive of my endeavours in all areas of life. Peter managed to incorporate a myriad of campaign tasks, including letterboxing, all the while training for the Kokoda Trail, and of course his emotional support was invaluable to me.

I would not have achieved those vital eight votes without the help of any of those people. I must mention at this point the hardworking, community-spirited Val Jeffery, who missed out on this spot by such a narrow margin. I cannot speak highly enough of his dedication and long-term service to his community.

My evolution to the Legislative Assembly has been determined by my environment, experience and family, and I would like to give a snapshot of those today. I came to

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