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Thursday, 9 February 2012
Page: 602

Dr LEIGH (Fraser) (13:49): Over recent months I have been gathering stories from colleagues who enjoy living on the north side of Canberra, in my electorate of Fraser. Senator Wong says, 'I love the north side because I can walk to Lonsdale Street Roasters, eat at Italian and Sons and see the balloons floating overhead as I drive across the bridge to work.'

The member for Parramatta says the Gungahlin area has 'some of the best bike paths around'. Senator Stephens tells me, 'I love to start my mornings with a brisk walk on Mount Ainslie.' And the Attorney-General enjoys using Dickson pool during summer. The member for Page says, 'I love living in Watson when I am in Canberra, as it has a nice suburban family-friendly feel. I am beside parkland and enjoy the walks and the birds, which are prolific and colourful.' The member for Kingston describes Dickson Chinese restaurants as 'fast, furious and yummy', and the member for Shortland heartily agrees. Senator Conroy found the north side 'a lovely place to grow up—relaxed and carefree'.

Yet, despite this, too few of those who work in Parliament House live on the trendy north side. Indeed, only 14 members of the Labor caucus live in the Fraser electorate—and I fear the same may be true of the other side of the House. The members for Canberra, Eden-Monaro and Lalor have good excuses, but what about the rest of you? Members of parliament and your staff: it is time to move to the fashionable right-bank of the Molonglo River.