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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 12 February 2015) . . Page.. 234 ..

It was also here that he was to enter politics to make his contribution to Canberra as a representative and minister, and later as Attorney-General. Kep was elected to represent Canberra when Canberra had but a single federal representative seat. He was deeply involved in the debates about the Canberra floods and was also named as the first Minister for the Capital Territory.

As was the way of those times, he was also involved in far-reaching and often turbulent changes. He often found himself in difficult positions requiring diligent solutions, but he worked hard to find solutions while still pursuing policies that were seen at the time as not just reformist but radical and sometimes unpopular.

He enacted legislation including no-fault divorces and the discrimination act. He contributed significantly to the Trade Practices Act and the provision of legal aid, among a raft of other civil liberty reforms, small and great, successful and not. Most notable from the territory’s perspective was his advocacy for the territory to be recognised in the Senate of Australia.

Kep lost his seat when the Whitlam government was swept from office, but he did not lose his zeal or commitment to the greater service of public life. He returned to the bar and practised in Sydney, where he was later elevated to the position of judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. He was appointed to the New South Wales Serious Offenders Review Council and set up the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties. In both of these roles he was both strident and outspoken until the last.

As the last federal member for the single seat of Canberra, as the first Minister for the Capital Territory, as an advocate for Senate recognition and for a lifetime of service to his country, I offer my respects to the colleagues, friends and family of Mr Kep Enderby QC, on behalf of the Canberra Liberals.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo): As members have noted, Kep Enderby was born in 1926 in Dubbo, New South Wales, and he moved to Canberra in the 1960s and lectured in law at the ANU. He was elected to the Australian parliament in 1970 for the seat of the Australian Capital Territory at a by-election called on the passing of James Fraser. He later represented the seat of Canberra and became a minister in the Whitlam government. He was the Minister for the Capital Territory in 1972-73 and later the Attorney-General. His political fortunes were closely tied to those of the Whitlam government and he was removed from office, along with many of his colleagues, in the anti-Labor sentiment of 1975.

During his time as Attorney-General he introduced the Family Law Act, which included no-fault divorce and established the Family Court. He also abolished the federal death penalty. He is well known for his work decriminalising abortion and homosexuality in the ACT. After politics he returned to the legal fraternity and served as a New South Wales Supreme Court justice until his retirement.

Kep Enderby was one of those fine individuals who learnt Esperanto in the belief that if we all spoke a single language there would be less conflict in the world. He was one of the founders of the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties and head of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of New South Wales.

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