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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 13 February 2018) . . Page.. 3 ..

day after day, demonstrate incredible commitment to serving our country. It is this public service that I was so proud to be a part of, and it is this culture of service that contributes so greatly to the fabric of Canberra.

When I talk about efficient government, I am not talking about job cuts. Efficient government means looking for better ways of doing business. Efficient government means ensuring that we are harnessing and investing in the right technology to enable our public servants to do the best job they can do. Efficient government means making sure that our public service has the right skills and expertise to serve us well into the future.

Not long after I arrived in Toronto, I came to discover that, while you can take the girl out of the public service, it is perhaps not so easy to take the public servant out of the girl. I quickly found that I was regaling my new Canadian friends with many comparisons between our great cities—everything from the differences between our welfare systems, workplace conditions, banking sector, and the quality and abundance of local parks. There is nothing quite like having to rely on Starbucks or Tim Hortons for your daily caffeine fix to have you greatly appreciating the coffee culture that we have here.

One of the things I was perhaps ranting about more than anything else was the public transport system. Within a week in Toronto, I could navigate the public transport system better than I can after more than 10 years in Canberra. Who knew it could be so fast, so convenient and so reliable to catch buses? It was a well-integrated system, including subways, buses and, God forbid, a tram, that was easy to navigate and quickly got you to where you needed to be. It did not matter if I was travelling alone after dark; I could simply ask the bus driver to let me off between stops, so that I could get off closer to home. And I never had to rely on a timetable, because even if I was travelling at 2 am on a Friday night or 8 am on a Sunday, I always knew that the next bus or tram was never far away.

This is the kind of public transport system Canberra needs. While I realise that higher population density and the grid-like streets in Toronto make this a system that could never quite be replicated here, I think it is absolutely essential that we look to the best transport mix to suit Canberra’s needs.

One of the most common questions I received on the campaign trail—probably second to whether or not you and I are related, Madam Speaker; and we are not, for the record—was, “You’re a Liberal? But you’re young and a woman.” I guess it depends on your definition of “young”, but I am under 30, I am a woman and I am a Liberal. And these things are in no way inconsistent. I do not ever remember making a conscious decision to enter politics, and I certainly never sat down to compare parties and decide which one best suited me. I simply always had a strong and deep-rooted passion for freedom, for individual liberty, for equality of opportunity and for limited and effective government.

I am a Liberal because I believe in freedom—freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of religion. I believe that this freedom includes the freedom to offend and that it is up to society and not government to judge those opinions

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