Page 1171 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 25 March 2015

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move quickly into the shadow ministry, and later, under Julia Gillard, the ministry. In 2010 Kate was appointed the Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Citizenship, as well as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister. In 2011 she was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs.

In 2012 she was appointed to her own ministry portfolio, becoming the Minister for Sport, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, and the Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation. It was a perfect fit. In the last months of the Labor government, under Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Kate retained the multicultural affairs portfolio, adding the digital economy, for which I know she was highly qualified.

As a fierce advocate for Labor’s national broadband network, Kate worked extremely hard to bring high-speed broadband to Canberra, and Gungahlin in particular. As Kate said in her valedictory speech in the Senate last night, she believes in technology; she believes in the people that create it and celebrates the disruption it causes.

In my first job in Canberra at the now defunct National Office for the Information Economy, Kate was the feared opposition senator, keeping us bureaucrats on our toes, and certainly taking it up to the minister, Richard Alston, who it is fair to say did not quite seem to have the same passion as Kate did for the potential of this new technology to transform our society and our economy. She also taught me about the effectiveness of parliamentarians who deeply understand their portfolio and can advocate a vision for change.

Kate was an early advocate for the NBN here in Canberra and attended many Gungahlin Community Council meetings with NBN Co to outline the plans for the rollout. She understood the bandwidth struggles of Gungahlin residents and the opportunities the NBN would bring to our growing community, and she understood the strong community desire for the NBN, passing on community feedback to NBN Co to ensure that any questions Gungahlin residents and businesses had were answered.

On multiculturalism, Kate was a great campaigner. She saw it as an important element of the Canberra community. As both a federal representative and Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Kate worked hard to celebrate and promote the contribution of all nationalities to our community. She knew that multiculturalism was something that should be embraced and acknowledged as one of the things that makes our cities so great.

Finally, I could not pay tribute to Kate without mentioning her love of sport—her early mornings on the lake. I know she worked hard to highlight the ability of sport to bring people together. I wish Kate all the very best in her new role on the NRMA board. (Time expired.)

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 5.52 pm.

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