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Thursday, 8 September 2022
Page: 80


Senator McCARTHY (Northern TerritoryAssistant Minister for Indigenous Australians and Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health) (17:28): Senators, one of the most powerful moments, I think, as elected members in this country is being able to stand up and represent the people who put you in the place to represent them, whether it be at a local government level, whether it be at a state or territory level, or whether it be here, in the House of Representatives or the Senate. How incredibly precious is that opportunity to represent? And one of the most wonderful things about our country is our democracy—uplifting, a shared space where we can debate, agree, disagree and have the opportunity to make laws on behalf of the people who put us in these places.

I stood for the people of the Northern Territory in 2005 and represented the people of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory parliament for a number of terms—an incredible honour: First Nations people of all different dialects, over 100 Aboriginal languages still maintained and still strong. Yet, when we come to an issue about whether the people—

Debate interrupted.