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Alicia Payne (ALP-Canberra) – Maiden Speech

This is the maiden speech to the House of Representatives by Alicia Payne, the ALP member for Canberra, ACT.

Listen to Payne (23m):

Watch Payne (27m):

Hansard transcript of maiden speech to the House of Representatives by Alicia Payne, ALP member for Canberra.

The SPEAKER: Before I call the honourable member for Canberra, I remind the House that this is the honourable member’s first speech and I ask the House to extend to her the usual courtesies.

Ms PAYNE (Canberra) (16:59): I want to begin in this place by paying respect to the Ngunawal and Ngambri people and their elders, past present and emerging. The beautiful land covered by the electorate of Canberra and on which our parliament meets is their country. It is a mountainous region with a harsh climate. Living here required great knowledge and skilful custodianship of the land, which the local Indigenous people exercised for tens of thousands of years. When resources were seasonally abundant, such as the bogong moth and yam daisy, there were gatherings of more than a thousand people at a time and important ceremonies were held. [Read more…]

Two Dead, 400 Homes Lost, As Canberra Burns; Disaster Not Yet Over

Daylight in Australia’s capital territory has revealed the full extent of the firestorm that struck yesterday.

Media outlets report this morning that 2 people are dead, 3 more are missing, and around 400 homes have been destroyed.

Canberra is ringed by fires to the north, west and south as the disaster continues to unfold.

Hot, windy and dry weather conditions threaten the nation’s capital with more devastation this Sunday.

The Prime Minister, John Howard, who chose to live in Sydney following his election in 1996, is cutting short his holiday to return to Canberra. The Governor-General, Peter Hollingworth, is also returning. [Read more…]