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Sunday, June 20, 2021

New Greens MLA says party won’t ‘sit on the sidelines’

Newly elected ACT Greens MLA, Rebecca Vassarotti, says she feels “privileged and excited” to represent her electorate of Kurrajong in the 10th ACT Legislative Assembly.

Having worked across the community sector, health, social services, and prior to that in the ACT Government, Ms Vassarotti says “it was time” to take the step into politics.

“It became evident to me that we needed people who were deeply involved in community issues to get involved in political process,” she says.

“People with experience of the issues that are really happening on the ground; it was really important to have that voice in political decision making.”

Ms Vassarotti says she is a born and bred Canberran – “a rare breed”.

Joining party leader Shane Rattenbury as the second ACT Greens MLA in Canberra’s “lentil belt” electorate, Kurrajong, Ms Vassarotti says a key focus for her going into this next term will be the issues of homelessness and housing affordability – a cornerstone of her party’s wider policy platform.

The Greens are looking to play a “significant role” in this next term with six MLAs in the Assembly and Ms Vassarotti says they have proven they are a “constructive part of government”.

She says the party will be throwing themselves headlong into the challenge, with discussions underway about the next Labor-Greens Parliamentary Agreement and the makeup of cabinet: “we’re not here to sit on the sidelines”.

Ms Vassarotti says she is excited to be a part of a majority-female assembly, and to work with all the female MLAs and the newly-minted all-female Canberra Liberals leadership team of Elizabeth Lee and Giulia Jones: “we may not necessarily agree on everything but there is an element of mutual respect there and I think that will really set the tone”.

“I spent a lot of my professional career encouraging women and particularly young women to get involved in political decision making… it was time for me take that step and to put my hand up and get involved.”

This profile on ACT Greens MLA Rebecca Vassarotti is part of a series Canberra Weekly is running on all of the ACT’s newly elected MLAs following the 2020 ACT election.

Johnathan Davis | Leanne Castley | Marisa Paterson | Andrew Braddock | Peter Cain | Jo Clay | Emma Davidson

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