Page 28 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 13 December 2016

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is inevitable that this country will legalise same-sex marriage and I wish we would just get on with it.

I am here for the people of Tuggeranong, the people who have been left behind and forgotten by this government. I am here for the families whose margins have been squeezed by the ever-increasing cost of everyday life in this great city; the people who dread their next rates announcement, their next motor registration renewal; the people who will never, ever buy a ticket on any white elephant tram.

I am truly honoured to say that I was elected to this place in October. Those of us who had run unsuccessful campaigns in the past learn many things and luckily I was able to put that knowledge as well as the support of the Canberra Liberals team and some wonderful supporters into a winning formula in October. I made many promises during my 10-week campaign and I am keen to keep all that I can from the opposition benches.

Thanks to everyone who helped me get here. Thanks to my wife Luisa and all of the family. Luisa is the rock at the centre of my life. I am so thankful that we found each other. When Brindabella elected me to this place they effectively elected Luisa as well. She will continue to be my guiding light in many ways.

During my journey many things have changed me. Becoming a father was one of them. Before having children of my own I had always believed that a father’s role was to teach his children about life. Harry, Brydie and Delaney have taught me that the opposite is the case. From the day each of them was born they have taught me much about myself and about life in general—more than I believe I have taught them. They continue to teach me every day. I love the three of them immensely and I thank them for bringing light into my life. And I thank my stepchildren, Atilla, Angela and Anna, for accepting me in their lives and allowing me to play such a big role in what they do day to day.

From the campaign perspective, I must say thanks to Rob and George and Rowan and the whole campaign team. Thanks to Jason and Dennis and Peter; to Graham and Peter and Rosa. Thanks to Jeremy Hanson for believing in me. Thanks to Alistair Coe for all of your help and advice. Thanks so much to Ed Cocks for campaigning hard enough in Brindabella that the door was opened wide enough to get three of us elected. Rob Lovett and Brad Clarke have joined me as staff members and they have been awesome. They have carried me for the first four weeks. I can see that they will continue to shoulder a big load and I am very proud to count them as close friends of mine.

But more than anything else, thanks to every single person who voted one, two or even three for me. I will be forever grateful. I will repay you for supporting me. I know a lot of you but many of you I have not met. I aim to change that. I want to get out and meet all. I will repay you by representing you truly in this place. I will repay you by holding the government to account. I will repay you by putting bright ideas on the table. I will repay you by listening to your grievances and doing whatever I can to address them and I will repay you by helping this city to reach its full potential. Thank you so much for indulging me.

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