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Victorian Parliament To Be Venue For Commemorative Federation Sitting

The Victorian Parliament in joint sitting today passed a motion inviting the Federal Parliament to convene in Spring Street on 10 May 2001 for a Commemorative Federation sitting.

Motion moved by the Premier, Mr Steve Bracks.

“That this Joint Sitting of the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly of the Parliament of Victoria invites the President and Members of the Senate and the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives to convene at the Royal Exhibition Buildings, Carlton, on 9 May 2001, for the Joint Commemorative Ceremonial Federation Sitting and Commemoration Ceremony, and at Parliament House, Melbourne, on 10 May 2001, for the Commemorative Federation Sitting of each House of the Commonwealth Parliament and conveys its best wishes for the success of the said meetings that will mark the centenary of the first sittings of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia.”

Parliament HousePremier Bracks said the motion was of considerable historical importance and significance.

“This motion is not merely symbolic. It links us directly to those important events of the past, to the days when this building was Australia’s Parliament and to the time when Australia’s journey as a united nation began,” Mr Bracks said.

“It reminds us that Melbourne was Australia’s capital for 26 years and that this building was generously given up by the Victorian people for all those years to serve the wider interests of our new nation.

“The invitation to our Federal colleagues to return here also reminds us that the Commonwealth Parliament was created by the vision and determination of the people of the colonies – and was strongly supported by our predecessors in this Parliament and by the people of Victoria.

“It reminds us that our Constitution was written by Australians and voted on by Australians.”

Mr Bracks said it was also worth remembering that a number of Victorians played key roles in promoting the call for nationhood both within this State and across Australia.

“I refer to people such as Alfred Deakin, who would later become Prime Minister, as well as other Victorians, including Sir John Quick from Bendigo,” he said.

“We should also remember the role played by our regions in the establishment of the federation – in particular the role Ballarat and the Eureka uprising played in the development of the federation movement.

“Australia and the State of Victoria have come a long way since we realised the vision to come together and form a united nation in 1901.

“The Centenary of Federation gives us the opportunity to celebrate our achievements as a united and democratic nation, while reflecting on the lessons of our past.

“The meeting of the Commonwealth Parliament here in Melbourne next year will honour those who established our democratic tradition – but the motion also carries a message about the future of that tradition.

“It expresses this Parliament’s desire that our democratic tradition continues to be a vibrant and dynamic one – one that is open to debate and new ideas.

“It expresses our desire for the continuing good governance for all Australians by the Commonwealth Parliament and by other Parliaments in Australia, including this one.

“And it expresses this Parliament’s desire that the meetings held here next year will be a reminder of our past, a celebration of our achievements and a pointer to our future as a successful, inclusive and prosperous nation.”

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