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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 15 December 2016) . . Page.. 301 ..

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Minister for Justice and Consumer Affairs, Minister for Corrections and Minister for Mental Health) (4.35), in reply: I will briefly close. I would like to thank Ms Le Couteur and Minister Gentleman for their support of the motion. I appreciate that they took it on its merits because this is a very serious environmental issue. Despite the interjections across the chamber, I think this Assembly should have the capability to contemplate a range of issues and that we should be able to think about issues like this that will impact on our quality of life in this country and in this city.

This is a project that is simply not the way of the future. Australia has much better prospects for both exports and producing energy. I thank members who have offered their support today.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Leave of absence

Motion (by Mr Gentleman) agreed to:

That leave of absence be granted to all Members for the period 16 December 2016 to 13 February 2017.

Inaugural speeches

MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (4.36), by leave: It is an immense privilege to be here today standing alongside all of you who have been chosen to represent our communities. I would like to start by speaking about my own community, the electorate of Yerrabi. In many ways Yerrabi represents both what is old and new about Canberra. My own suburb of Crace and suburbs like Casey and Forde were still under construction at the last election, and with their development have come new families and new stories. By the time of the next election, we will have the addition of more new suburbs, like Throsby and Moncrief.

The growth we have seen in this region is some of the fastest in all of Australia, a timely reminder that this is a great community that people want to live in. But, of course, Gungahlin has been around much longer than that. Ngunnawal and Palmerston were built over 20 years ago. The Belconnen suburbs of Yerrabi, like Kaleen, Evatt and Giralang, were established in the 1970s, and this is just their recent history.

Australia’s first people have lived in the Yerrabi area for thousands of years. Just near my home in Crace is Percival Hill. It is a difficult climb, but when you reach the top there is an amazing view of the Gungahlin area. On this hill and on land like Mulligans Flat, the first Australians held their gatherings. The Ngunnawal people have an ancient connection to this land that must always be honoured. And for that, I would like to pay my respects to the traditional owners of this land and to their elders, past, present and future. I extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people here today.

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