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Thursday, 14 March 2013
Page: 2177

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahLeader of the Opposition) (14:04): I welcome the observations of the Prime Minister. This is an important occasion for our country and it should be marked in this way in this parliament. I have to admit that it has been a tumultuous few weeks in Northern Territory politics and I do feel for the former Chief Minister, Terry Mills, who did lead the Country Liberal Party to victory last year. Still, in a very important sense, yesterday was a very auspicious day for our nation and an auspicious day, if I may say so, for the conservative side of politics. It was, after all, the coalition that gave this national parliament its first Indigenous member in Senator Neville Bonner; it was the coalition who gave this House of Representatives its first Indigenous member in our friend and colleague the member for Hasluck; and now the coalition has given Australia its first Indigenous head of government in Adam Giles, the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory.

I know Adam Giles quite well. He was in fact a senior officer in the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations which I once administered as the relevant minister. He is a highly capable man, and I am confident that he will be a fine Chief Minister. So, on behalf of the coalition and, I am sure, all members of this place, I wish him well in the discharge of his heavy responsibilities.