Page 923 - Week 04 - Thursday, 7 May 2020

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Thursday, 7 May 2020

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms J Burch) took the chair at 10 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional custodians, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Dr Deb Foskey

Motion of condolence

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Social Inclusion and Equality, Minister for Tourism and Special Events and Minister for Trade, Industry and Investment) (10.02): I move:

That this Assembly expresses its deep regret at the death of Dr Deb Foskey, ACT Greens MLA from 2004 to 2008, and tenders its profound sympathy to her family, friends and colleagues in their bereavement.

On behalf of the government, I rise this morning to move this motion of condolence on the passing of a former colleague and member of this place, Dr Deb Foskey, who died last week after a long battle with cancer.

Dr Foskey moved to Canberra in the 1980s as a schoolteacher and completed a master’s in human ecology and a PhD in political science at the Australian National University. Dr Foskey’s focus was population and analysing ways to achieve a lower ecological footprint. She was clearly ahead of her time, given that that is something that we are now all very conscious of and are all trying to work into our daily lives today.

Throughout her life, Deb was a passionate environmental activist who cared deeply about protecting and preserving Australia’s old-growth forests. From her time in East Gippsland in the 70s and 80s, fighting to protect old-growth forest, to her time in the Legislative Assembly between 2004 and 2008, environmental issues were always central to Dr Foskey’s political beliefs. And certainly her activism did not end after leaving this place. When she moved back to Victoria in 2008, Dr Foskey ran as a Greens candidate in numerous state and federal elections, always ensuring that those lifelong passions of environmental issues were front and centre of her political campaigns.

Time passes quickly in this place, and I think Mrs Dunne, Minister Gentleman and I are now the only remaining members of the Assembly who served alongside Dr Foskey. She was elected in that most unusual territory election in 2004 that came just after a federal election and saw, to date, the only majority government elected in the history of this place. I was not elected in the 2004 election. I narrowly missed out and so did not join Dr Foskey in this chamber until May 2006 and, although the time we spent in this place together was relatively brief, she was always very kind to me, although we did not always agree on every issue.

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