Page 2472 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 6 August 2013

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on. So based on what I hear from Canberrans I would like to add a “P” to the three Rs—for parking. Remember that—three Rs and a P.

Although Canberra benefits enormously from the public service hub we have here, we can recover from the swings and roundabouts of public service cuts, as we have shown in the past. Indeed, over the past few years there have been constant cuts to the public service, yet our housing market remains strong. We do need to acknowledge that the public service is not the only game in town, and consciously be supportive of other ventures.

Canberra has a high business insolvency rate and the lowest business survival rate of any Australian state or territory. Small business in Canberra, just like other towns and cities across Australia, remains a vital part of our economy and we must reduce red tape and support businesses of all shapes and sizes to keep our economy moving.

Canberrans have the right to expect the best possible health care. This is another area we need to improve on. While we spend vast amounts of money on our hospital system, it is clear there is still a lot of work to be done, including on the emergency department waiting times. I have family members and friends who work at the hospital and I know that each and every one of them gives their best possible efforts to provide quality care. It is not those staff on the ground, but more systemic bureaucratic and process areas that we need to focus on to improve waiting times in the emergency department and the health system as a whole.

I also believe in advancing the rights of Canberrans in the gay and lesbian community, a number of whom I am proud to count as my friends. However, I believe that marriage equality is a federal issue, and not something that should be progressed through the Legislative Assembly.

I am a liberal in the traditional small “l” liberal sense of believing in the individual, their rights and their enterprise. I strongly believe in freedom of choice, personal effort and responsibility and reward for hard work.

Labor would like to have us think that they are the party to best represent the community sector, especially in the disability and homelessness areas. I am here to disprove that. I care deeply about my community—local sporting groups, businesses, tourist attractions, community groups and especially those who are most disadvantaged and excluded. Over time I have come to see the economic growth and stability of our Liberal approach as the best way to achieve this. Without growth and stability, you cannot deliver the greatest benefit to the wider community.

I close by once again acknowledging my family, especially my husband, Peter. Many of the things I have done and achieved would not have been possible without the unwavering support of my friends, the love of my family and their honest feedback. I look forward to the rest of my term, to working with my colleagues in the Assembly and representing the people of Brindabella in this place. I look forward to working towards a better Canberra for all of us.

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