Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 31 October 2017) . . Page.. 4751 ..
Having had no experience or expertise in the areas of disability or the environment, taking on these portfolio responsibilities was definitely outside my comfort zone. But where I lack knowledge or experience I hope what I bring is a new and different perspective, a capacity to look outside the square in a tumultuous world of change and, most importantly, the ability to look at issues affecting everyday Canberrans from the viewpoint of an everyday Canberran.
I have had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people in both the disability and environment sectors and I am sure that, had it not been for the environment portfolio, I would not have had the chance to go on a twilight tour of Mulligans Flat complete with a constant fear of huntsman spiders, or the trip to Yankee Hat at Namadgi, spotting our very own bluebell in the wild, or touring the new recycling facility at Hume and learning how far we have come since the days of takeaways coming in styrofoam boxes.
I am also sure that, had it not been for the disability portfolio, I would not have had the chance to get an insight into one of the biggest transitions we have seen in the sector warts and all. I have met some of the most amazing people who, even with all the challenges in the world, have shown strength and courage to advocate for, inspire and support some of Canberra’s most vulnerable.
It has been a great pleasure to be able to support and encourage the social consciousness and entrepreneurship of organisations, like GG’s Flowers, that do so much to ensure that Canberrans living with a disability have the best opportunities for employment and a sustainable future. In short, I have seen the best in people and what inspired Canberrans can offer the entire community.
Given our unique parliament of both local and territory responsibility, of course my first and utmost duty will always be to the people of Kurrajong. I represent an electorate that I would say is one of the most diverse in the ACT and is home to Canberrans from all walks of life. Whilst you cannot be everything to everyone, it is important for me to listen more than I speak, always put myself in the shoes of someone else and make sure that the interests of the people of Kurrajong come before my own. I must remember that my duty to faithfully serve the people of the Australian Capital Territory is as a parliamentarian and not just another politician.
One year on I take this opportunity to thank my colleagues from all sides of the chamber, all my family and friends who supported me to be where I am today, everyone that I have met since I have been a member of this Assembly and, most importantly, the people of Kurrajong.
Today, as I did a year ago when I pledged to faithfully serve the people of the Australian Capital Territory, I stand ready to serve for as long as the people of Kurrajong place their trust in me to do so.
MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (6.37): Today marks the theoretical end to the offshore detention on Manus Island. I say “theoretical” because the reality is that