Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 13 December 2016) . . Page.. 91 ..

from domestic and family violence in Australia alone. One in three women experience domestic violence. One in four children are exposed to it. Hearing the statistics in the media numbs many to the reality, but if we take a moment to look around us, there are women in this chamber right now who are experiencing or have experienced this brutality.

I have seen many extraordinary, courageous women tell their stories of their journey through domestic violence. I will not do the same. I am not a hero, and I know most survivors of domestic violence are not extraordinary. Our problem with domestic violence is not that it is extraordinary; our problem with domestic violence is that it is normal. It is normal men killing normal women, normal men terrorising normal women. It starts with normal men controlling normal women. I know. I was there. I do not want to be extraordinary. I want a new normal, and you are going to help me.

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee) (5.00), by leave: I am incredibly proud to stand here as a member for Murrumbidgee. I would like to acknowledge the Ngunnawal people and their enduring connection with the land on which we meet today and that of my electorate, and pay my respects to their elders past and present.

I would also like to thank the people of Woden valley, Weston Creek, Kambah and Molonglo valley for putting their trust in me and the Australian Labor Party in government at the October 2016 election. It is an honour to represent the area that I grew up in, in the most livable city in the world.

I left the steel town of Newcastle during the late eighties, following my dad, a science teacher, moving around small towns in New South Wales, before we arrived in Queanbeyan and then very quickly moved across the border to the suburb of Torrens, here in Canberra. I spent my childhood playing on and running around Mount Taylor, and I met my lifelong friends at the local playgroup, Torrens preschool and primary school and Melrose High School.

The Steels always discussed politics and policy at the dinner table. While no-one was a party member, my parents were active union members, and my grandfather was assistant secretary of the Federated Iron Workers Union, which is now known as the Australian Workers Union. So it made sense to me to go on to study politics at Narrabundah College and then at the ANU, where I studied politics and law. In the year that John Howard introduced Work Choices, I joined the Labor Party to help to develop progressive policy for our city.

My parents instilled in me a sense of fairness and to value learning, education, knowledge and ideas. These values have carried through my work in the union movement, in government and in the community sector. And in this Assembly I will be a progressive voice for the south side.

As an almost lifelong Canberran I have seen our city change, and, particularly in the past five years, change for the better. Canberra has come into its own, with international flights, delivering cancer surgeries here and not in Sydney, making Canberra’s energy 100 per cent renewable, and the urban renewal that is starting to take place in our city streets. That change has not happened by accident; it is because

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video