Tara's Thoughts

Speech at the Ginninderra candidates’ forum

August 17, 2016

On Tuesday night, the Belconnen Community Council and Belconnen Arts Centre hosted the Ginninderra candidates’ forum. Twelve candidates attended (of about 20 who have declared they are running).

Candidates began with a three minute speech followed by a Q&A session. Below is my speech and you can hear it here, together with the other candidates’ speeches (noting it’s a 50mb file) – mine starts at 7:04.

NB: Before I began, I declared that:
– I’m a former Chair, Deputy Chair and committee member of the BCC
– I’m a current Board member and secretary of the Belconnen Arts Centre
– I am on public record advocating for the completion of the Belconnen Arts Centre

“I grew up in Queensland, living in seven different towns by the time I was 18 so never really had a ‘home town’. It wasn’t until I moved to Belconnen that I felt I’d found my home – somewhere I both loved and felt a real sense of belonging. From our nature parks to Westfield to our strong community. I love it all.

When you love something, you want the best for it.

I started small, simply promoting things that I was enjoying in Canberra and Belconnen on a blog called In The Taratory as a hobby. But by its third year it had 3000 views a week – and a weekly radio segment. I love being able to raise Belconnen’s profile with it. It’s fostered a love of communicating with people about issues that matter to them.

In the same month I purchased my home here, I joined the Belconnen Community Council, and then the board at this cultural heart of Belconnen [Belconnen Arts Centre]. I’ve made a real difference with my fresh ideas; to foster greater connections in the community, and inspire the community to make sure its views are heard on local matters.

But I want to do more; to channel my energy and drive to do the most I can for our community to get the best I can for it. That’s why I’m running.

I’ve run my campaign in the way that I want to be an MLA – and essentially in the style of Mary Porter. So far I’ve knocked on thousands of doors, walking so many streets that my toes are literally bleeding. I’ve held hundreds of community stalls – day, night, wind, rain, sunshine, sleet. I’ve made myself available to you. I’ve had conversations with you and really listened to you.

It’s because I want to be an MLA who makes sure our voice is heard. By making our voice heard, we get the best outcomes. Here’s a small example.

A while back, I recognised that we didn’t have a bulky waste pick up service for all Canberrans. I spoke with the community about it and got widespread support for the idea, and then last year put a motion to the Labor Party. It became our party’s policy.

As a candidate, I’ve spoken to many of you about it. Many of you have raised it with me directly. At my stalls. On the phone. At your doors. And – every time – I advocated for you.

A bulky waste pick up service is now a Labor Party election commitment.

Put me to work for you in the Assembly.

The only way you can do that is by voting for me.”